Sprint Eyes 3 for Its $10-15 Mil. Consolidated Interactive Account

By Joan Voight and Scott Hume

SAN FRANCISCO–Telecommunications giant Sprint has chosen three finalists to compete for its consolidated interactive marketing account.

The trio named last week was: CKS Partners in Cupertino, Calif.; Valentine-McCormick-Ligibel in Kansas City, Mo.; and Eagle River Interactive in Avon, Colo., sources said. Billings are estimated at $10-15 million.

The client’s roster agencies, J. Walter Thompson in San Francisco and Grey Advertising in New York, were among 16 shops from around the country initially invited to participate in the search, according to sources.

Grey did not make the short list of six agencies, and JWT was cut before the final round.

Executives at all the agencies and officials at Sprint declined comment or could not be reached.

Previously, Sprint’s Web site and interactive marketing had been handled by about 10 agencies, including the roster shops, on a project basis, said sources at Sprint. VML has done various interactive tasks for the Kansas City, Mo., client, including maintaining its Web site. Sprint opted to bundle all the on-line projects into a single account in order to ensure consistency in the work.

The winning agency will be charged with overseeing content and creative development of the Web site and other multimedia and CD-ROM initiatives. Additional duties will include on-line media buying and strategic planning for Sprint’s new interactive products and services. Final presentations are slated for the end of July……–with John Spooner

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