Net2Phone Considers 4 for $50 Mil. Business

Net2-Phone, an Internet telephony provider, is talking to four agencies about handling its $50 million overseas account, a client executive confirmed.

New York shops Bates Worldwide and Minussixpointtwo (the New York outpost of London’s Interactive Media Services U.K.) and Devon Direct Euro RSCG in Berwyn, Pa., are slated for the second round of pitches starting Sept. 5, said Shari Sentlowitz, Net2Phone international marketing manager. Riser & Riser, with offices in Coral Gables, Fla., and São Paulo, Brazil, is also a contender, she said.

A series of informal credentials meetings, mostly via phone, occurred over the past month. Agency officials could not be reached for comment.

The Newark, N.J.-based client, an IDT unit, offers low-cost phone service over the Net. Sentlowitz said it wants “to build brand awareness in select countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America through direct response and guerrilla marketing.” Net 2Phone is considering the competing shops because of their direct-response and global-network capabilities.

Agencies are expected to present spec creative work, strategic plans and sample media plans, though no shop will likely be responsible for media, Sentlowitz said. The client may divide the account among various agencies. A decision is expected by October.

Emedia, the client’s in-house media-services arm, does media buying in the U.S. and abroad. Planning is done by Net2’s marketing team.

Past creative work has been done in-house and by Great Response in New York, a Grey Global Group division. The shop created a national U.S. spot that ran from April to May showing people using a messaging service and miscommunicating. Margeotes|Fertitta + Partners in New York has done print and radio project work for Net2’s YAP unit of hardware and software products.