Czech telecoms leader shortlists agencies

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PRAGUE--Czech mobile phone leader Eurotel, the country's third-largest advertiser, has shortlisted three agencies: Leo Burnett Co., Ark Communications ( JWT) and an unnamed U.K. agency.

Pitching agencies say they have been asked to make presentations for the Eurotel umbrella brand and not for any of its sub-brands, such as Go, its pre-paid card system. It is not known whether the company will separate its accounts. No budget figures were available.

The review comes as Eurotel -- a consortium of Bell Atlantic, Media One and state-owned Cesky Telecom -- is facing eroding market share against competitor Paegas and newcomer Cesky Mobil. In the last two years, Eurotel has seen its 80% share fall while Paegas more than doubled its 20% share in 1998 to 46% today. Paegas is handled by Euro RSCG Worldwide, while Young & Rubicam holds the Cesky Mobil account.

Copyright June 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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