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Current as of 19/12/14 03:40PM NZST

XT boss fishes for customers

By John Drinnan

Telecom CEO Paul Reynolds appears fishing near Glenorchy in an ad promoting XT as the 'anywhere' network. Photo / Supplied
Telecom CEO Paul Reynolds appears fishing near Glenorchy in an ad promoting XT as the 'anywhere' network. Photo / Supplied

It all went a bit pear-shaped, but now the boss thinks New Zealanders should give it another go.

First there was the multimillion-dollar launch of Telecom's XT mobile network, featuring international stars, and then came the recriminations after it fell over.

But now, Telecom chief executive Paul Reynolds has decided to front the relaunch, saying the network is fixed and we should give it a fair go.

In a television campaign starting tonight, Reynolds hails Kiwis for their fearlessness.

"You know, the thing I really admire about New Zealanders is your fearlessness - it's that almost mad 'give it a go' mindset.

"And when it all goes pear-shaped - as I found out lately - there is that old Kiwi 'pick yourself up by the bootstraps and give it another go' sort of thinking."

He asks New Zealanders to "give XT another shot now it is working exactly as it should have done".

Reynolds appears in fly-fishing gear in a remote area of the country to show that XT is the "anywhere" mobile network.

He is shown casting from his favourite spot - at the Greenstone Valley, near Glenorchy.

The adverts will run for three weeks as Telecom offers "no-risk trials" and other deals.

The company hopes the campaign will kick-start sales hurt by major breakdowns to the network in the early part of the year.

The worst problems were in the South Island.

Telecom corporate relations boss Tina Symmans was confident Mr Reynolds' appearance would work for the brand, which has not been marketed for more than four months.

Reynolds was criticised publicly for his $5 million pay package last year before the problems with XT.

But Symmans was confident the CEO would work with customers.

Commercials last year featured Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond and stuntwoman Zoe Bell and became an embarrassment as XT's problems grew. Telecom says those adverts will not be used again.

- NZ Herald

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