HAVAS AGENCIES WIN VONAGE ADVERTISING ACCOUNT

Internet Phone Marketer to Spend Estimated $50-$75 Million

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Internet phone service pioneer Vonage, in a tough battle to maintain market share in the emerging market, said it has awarded its estimated $50 million to $75 million advertising account to Havas-owned agencies, including MPG and Arnold One.

Arnold Worldwide, including its interactive unit, Arnold One, will handle creative,

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while MPG picks up the media buying and planning portion.

Online ad spender
Vonage spends the majority of its media online, and the MPG unit Media Contacts, Boston, will have primary responsibility for the account, the executives said.

Vonage is a pioneer in what's known as VoIP, or voice over Internet protocol, but is facing stiff competition from AT&T Corp.'s CallVantage program, as well as offerings from baby bells and cable operators.

Vonage had hired Korey Kay & Partners, an independent New York agency, earlier this year but called the review within months.

Review contenders
Other finalists in the review included Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe and aQuantive Inc.'s Avenue A/ Razorfish, Seattle. Interpublic's Mullen, Wenham, Mass., previously dropped out and Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group's StarcomMediaVest/SMG Direct also did not make the final cut.

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Alice Z. Cuneo contributed to this report.