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Business

BlackBerry launches huge ad campaign to reassure customers

Canadian-based mobile phonemaker BlackBerry has gone on the offensive by starting a huge ad campaign in newspapers. The company said it hoped to convince clients it would stay in business despite current problems.

On Tuesday, BlackBerry published an open letter in major publications around the world in an attempt to reassure customers the firm would not give up. It said clients could continue to count on the distressed mobile phonemaker.

The Canadian company acknowledged it was going through challenging times and added it did by no means underestimate the situation. However, it also informed clients that the firm had substantial cash reserves and was debt-free.

The open letter failed to mention that the company could be up for sale, broken up and sold in pieces. BlackBerry announced last month that Fairfax Financial Holdings, which owns 10 percent of the company, signed a letter of intent to consider buying the firm.

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Once the dominant smartphone for business people, the Blackberry has lost out against the new generation of competing touchscreen models, making the Canadian competitor's products look ancient. BlackBerry recently announced 4,500 layoffs and reported a quarterly loss of nearly $1 billion (740 million euros).

In Tuesday's open letter, the company insisted that it continued to "offer the best mobile typing experience - no ifs, ands or buts about it."

The newspaper ad pointed out, though, that the company was restructuring with a goal to cut expenses by 50 percent in order to run a “very efficient, customer-oriented organization.”

hg/ (AFP, AP)

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