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Santa Beefs Up Elf Numbers for Kids' Requests

Santa Beefs Up Elf Numbers to Handle Increase in Kids’ Requests

Santa Claus is taking on extra elves to cope with an expected increase in demand from New Zealand children when Telecom’s Santa Line goes live tomorrow (1 December).

In 2006 North Pole elves received about 700,000 calls, emails and text messages from excited children, a few teenagers and even some adults. This year Telecom expects the man in red to once again be inundated with messages from hopeful New Zealanders.

Mr Claus was unavailable for comment due to his busy schedule but his wife, Mrs Claus, says elf recruitment has begun to ensure the Christmas wishes of all children are heard in time for December 25.

Telecom GM Consumer Marketing David Craig says every year Telecom is delighted to be able to support Santa and the elves by providing technology to make it easier for children to connect with the North Pole.

“In recent years they’ve used texting and email, and Santa also has his own website – www.telecom.co.nz/santaline – where children can contact him and send Christmas messages to their friends and family,” Mr Craig says.

On the website children can guess the most popular toys requested this Christmas, and one lucky child will win a Telecom Clever Toys prize pack containing a Sony PSP console and a set of new Clever Toys soft toys – Kaz, Gus, Terry, Pete and Murray. The child with the wackiest guess will also win a set of Telecom Clever Toys soft toys.

The free calling number is 0800 222 222 and children can text their Christmas wish to 9627 on their Telecom mobile phone. Each text message costs 20 cents; all proceeds will be matched by Telecom and donated to Women’s Refuge.

“It’s true what they say, with all this new technology the world is becoming a smaller place. We’re able to reach more and more children without Santa having to spend so much time away from home in shopping malls to hear their requests,” says Mrs Claus.

Telecom’s Santa Line launched in 1993 to help Kiwi kids connect with the North Pole and will open on December 1, 2007 at 9am.

ENDS

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