Horizon Wins Media Duties for Clearwire

Broadband Provider Expected to Boost Spend to $60 Million

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Wireless broadband provider Clearwire has named independent Horizon Media as its new media agency of record, the company shared with Ad Age .

"As a result of their proven strategic campaign experience, creativity and media negotiations prowess, Horizon Media quickly emerged as the ideal partner to guide the Clear brand in reaching new customers," said Dow Draper, senior VP-marketing and products at Clearwire, in a statement. Horizon will handle all media planning and buying work for the "Clear " retail brand from its Los Angeles office.

The hire gives Clearwire its first media agency partner in over a year. WPP's Mindshare served as Clearwire's most recent media agency partner, but the organizations parted after a short-lived relationship. The agency resigned due to budget restrictions, according to an executive familiar with the relationship. Both Mindshare and Clearwire had no comment on the matter.

The agency selection comes at a time when competition proves fierce in the 4G space. Also, an impending Sprint iPhone could change the dynamic of Clearwire's relationship with Sprint, its largest customer and majority owner, should the iPhone use Sprint's own 3G network.

The company recently announced its "intent" to add "LTE Advanced-ready" technology to its 4G network, which it expects would contribute to the expansion of its wholesale customer-base, according to CNET.

Clearwire began addressing competition from other 4G providers such as Verizon in 2010, when it launched a pay-as-you-go 4G service called Rover.

The company's most recent earnings report showed it posted a widened net loss of more than $100 million, though its revenues have spiked to more than $300 million. Amid the revenue jump, Clearwire is expected to triple its marketing budget from less than $20 million last year to more than $60 million in measured media going forward, a person familiar with Clearwire said.

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