Sprint stopping Hesse ad campaign

Sprint Nextel will be starting a new advertising campaign soon that will not feature the company's CEO, Dan Hesse.

Hesse has been the public pitchman for the struggling wireless carrier, appearing in a series of black-and-white commercials over the past several months, in an attempt to both humanize the corporate message of the company and to sell potential Sprint customers on the value of Sprint's services. He has been an especially vocal spokesman for Sprint's flat-rate Simply Everything data plan.

However, the time has come to retire the campaign, Hesse said. "I'll wear out--they'll get tired of seeing that guy," he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Since the ad campaign began in earnest this past fall, Sprint has continued to hemorrhage customers, losing 2.6 million customers in the third and fourth quarter of 2008. Outside of the commercials, Hesse has publicly committed to rejuvenating Nextel's iDEN network, improving Sprint's customer service and playing up the value proposition of the Simply Everything plan.    

Hesse also spoke with the Journal about the importance of wholesale as a business model for Sprint. "(Wholesale) is an important contributor to revenue now, and will be an important contributor for some time," Hesse said. "We'll get the lion's share of new products that need a cellular connection."

For more:
- see this article (sub. req.)
- see this article on wholesale (sub. req.)

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