TELECOM ASSOCIATION TO SEEK AD AGENCY

Effort to be Focused on Government Activities

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- As it faces a number of new government challenges, the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association is preparing to search for an advertising agency.

Kimberly Kuo, the group's vice president for communications, said the association's membership of wireless carriers have previously centered their ad messages on customer services and other issues, leaving the cell phone industry association to deal with government regulatory and taxation issues.

Taxes and services
The topics the association plans to address in its new advertising include government fees on cell phone use and safe-driving issues.

Ms. Kuo said she spoke with less than a handful of New York-based agencies in a preliminary inquiry. She said that at the moment "there is no timeline or budget" or indication of the issues or strategies to be tackled.

In the past, the association ran public service-type announcements urging motorists to drive safely while using a cell phone, or instructing them how to use cell phones to prevent crimes or respond to emergencies.

The association represents the large wireless providers such as Cingular, Sprint PCS, Verizon and Nextel, as well as dozens of smaller firms.