8: Mark Schweitzer

Chief marketing officer, Sprint Nextel Corp.

Published on .

POWER PLAY: With the difficult merger of Sprint and Nextel behind him, Mark Schweitzer, 47, has reorganized marketing around a "power" pitch, attempting to put Sprint's network on par with Cingular's fewest dropped calls and Verizon's best network claims. A key element is entertainment, with products like its NFL Mobile channel and Nascar tie-ins.

DOWNSIDE: The brand once known for clarity-the pin drop-and innovation failed to differentiate itself from rivals with its "Yes, you can" Sprint campaign and dropped to a "fading star," according to Millward Brown. Later this year, its joint venture with the cable companies, in which Sprint will become the wireless part of the bundle, will present new challenges for brand integrity. And now that the merger is complete, spending has returned to a more normal level.

AD BUDGET: $1.66 billion


* Omnicom's TBWA Worldwide, N.Y.

* Publicis' Publicis BOS Group, N.Y.; Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco

* WPP's VML, Kansas City, Mo.; MindShare and MindShare Interaction, N.Y.

* Vidal Partnership, N.Y.
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