NEXTEL HIRES CONSULTANT FOR MARKETING ASSESSMENT

Denies Plans for Ad Agency Review

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Nextel Communications, Reston, Va., confirmed it hired Roth Associates, New York, to conduct an assessment of the company's marketing communications program.

Interpublic Group of Cos.' Mullen, Wenham, Mass., is currently Nextel's agency of record. An agency review is not part of the assessment program, the marketer said.

'Happy with the progress'
"We have a six-year relationship with Mullen," said Audrey Schaefer, the telecom's senior director of corporate communications. "We are working with them now on our 2003 plans and are happy with the progress."

The agency referred calls to the client. Nextel is Mullen's largest single account.

An assessment involves examining the marketplace to determine a company's current and prospective customers, as well as looking at all types of media used in a marketing program, from TV and print advertising to online and database marketing, as well as media planning, buying and public relations.

"We're still in the development stage of deciding what the assessment will analyze," Ms. Schaefer said. No time frame has been determined for the assessment program, she said.

Nextel spent $160 million on measured media in 2001, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, and $124 million from January through August of this year.

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