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Sprint calling Mr. Goodby

April 03, 2007

Agency News,Industry Observations

There is this saying “be careful what you ask for…” Sprint recently announced awarding it’s billion dollar plus ad account to Goodby, Silver and Partners. While I’m a huge fan of their work and think they are a great agency I do think they have their work cut out for them with Sprint.

Sprint is struggling to compete in one of the fiercest, competitive markets out there — wireless telecommunications. In a recent WSJ article it discussed how Sprint shares are down 30% since the Nextel acquisition and how they have lost 306,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter. That’s a huge number especially when your competition is Verizon and AT&T. Gary Forsee (Sprint CEO) has been under a lot of pressure to make a positive change at the company but firing the COO and slashing the workforce by 8% hasn’t moved the needle enough.

As the WSJ article stated “even if Mr. Forsee delivers improved subscriber numbers this summer, (a task which is much harder then it sounds) a bigger task lies ahead: finding an identity for Sprint in the increasingly competitive U.S. cellphone industry.” With a statement like that I’m certain all eyes will be watching for what Goodby and company can churn up in the coming months. While this win is huge for the agency I don’t think it’s an enviable task, and it’s one that could haunt them even if they do everything right. After all if the numbers continue to go down it’s much easier to blame the advertising and fire the agency.

Good luck guys!

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