Online Exclusive: Hispanic Marketing News

VERIZON WIRELESS EXPANDS HISPANIC AGENCY ROSTER

Selects Latinvox to Handle Northeast Region

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Verizon Wireless, moving to increase its presence in the Hispanic market, today named Latinvox, New York, as its first agency of record for the Northeast.

As part of the new assignment, Latinvox will provide community relations, promotions and other broad

Latinvox has been named Verizon's Hispanic agency of record for the Northeast.
marketing efforts, as well as print and broadcast advertising, public relations and media planning and buying, a Verizon Wireless spokesman said.

RLR, GlobalHue
Verizon Wireless works with RLR Advertising, Pasadena, Calif., its agency for the Western states. GlobalHue, an Interpublic Group of Cos.-backed agency in Southfield, Mich., handles the wireless marketer's national Hispanic advertising.

Some 2.7 million Latinos own cell phones, and 1 million bought a new mobile phone last year, according to Latinvox. Of those consumers with a monthly cell phone bill more than $100, 11% are Hispanic, compared with 7.5% non-Hispanic, the agency said.

Verizon Wireless' announcement of its aggressive stance in the high-growth Hispanic marketplace comes at a time when the marketer, the nation's No. 2 carrier, has begun to close the gap with No. 1 Cingular.

Adding subscribers
Verizon Wireless reported adding 1.9 million subscribers in the second quarter to bring its total to 47.4 million, just 4.2 million behind Cingular. When Cingular purchased AT&T Wireless it overtook Verizon by 7 million consumers. But Verizon has kept its customers in its ranks, and, according to some analysts, has begun to cut prices to gain market share.

Cingular, meanwhile, had a higher churn rate, that is, the rate of customers leaving the service, at 2.2% compared with Verizon's 1.2% churn rate. Overall, Cingular added 1.1 million subscribers. As a result, a number of analysts have predicted Verizon Wireless may overtake Cingular to lead the wireless market within the next year and a half.
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