TracFone Wireless has assigned its direct-advertising account to The Republik, the client confirmed.

The Chapel Hill, N.C., agency defeated two New York contenders in a review conducted by DataTech Concepts, a database marketing and consulting firm in New York.

Annual billings are undisclosed. The telecom spent $3 million on advertising between January and July 2002, according to CMR.

The Miami-based client is a division of América Móvil of Mexico City, a manufacturer of wireless telephones that are sold with prepaid minutes.

The Republik will be responsible for branding, direct sales and ethnic advertising assignments. Creative chores will involve broadcast, print, Internet and guerrilla marketing.

TracFone and Wal-Mart’s co-branding assignment remains at Bernstein-Rein Advertising. The Kansas City, Mo., shop is Wal-Mart’s lead agency.