Earthlink picks Text 100 to replace MS&L

ATLANTA: Internet access company Earthlink has picked Text 100 as its North American PR agency, overseeing both corporate and product PR.

ATLANTA: Internet access company Earthlink has picked Text 100 as its North American PR agency, overseeing both corporate and product PR.

MS&L previously worked on Earthlink's consumer business from 1997 to 2003.

"They wanted a more integrated communications function," said Text 100 CEO Aedhmar Hynes. "We're going to focus on driving corporate positioning. After two quarters of profitability, they really want to turn the heat up on the brand. We also want to focus on differentiators, such as their technology and customer service. They are very customer-centric."

Text 100's New York office will lead the account. The firm is also developing a team in Atlanta, where Earthlink is based. While Text 100 does not have an office in Atlanta - and the presence of staff there does not necessarily indicate that the agency will open one any time soon - Hynes pointed out that the agency's Rochester office started the same way when Text 100 won the Xerox account.

Earthlink has typically found itself battling AOL and Microsoft for Internet customers. But the company now faces competition from telecommunications companies that also offer internet access, often providing discounts when the access is bundled with other services, such as mobile phone plans, and local and long-distance telephone service. Cable companies also are increasing competition with low pricing.

"Earthlink is about fulfilling the promise of the internet and making it simple to use," Hynes said. "They were also one of the first companies to address spam and pop-up ads."

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