INDEPENDENT NEWS

Santa Beefs Up Elf Numbers

Published: Fri 1 Dec 2006 05:12 PM
Santa Beefs Up Elf Numbers To Handle Increase In Kids’ Wishes
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 today.
In 2005 North Pole elves managed almost 100,000 additional requests as New Zealand’s hotline to the man in red was inundated with messages from excited children. More than 700,000 calls, emails and text messages were received and even more are expected this year.
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 Head of Consumer Marketing Kevin Bowler 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/santa – where children can contact him and learn more about what’s happening at the North Pole,” Mr Bowler says.
On the website children can guess the most requested toy and one lucky boy and girl will each win a PlayStation 2 console, Buzz Junior Jungle Party Pack and an EyeToy Play Sports Pack. The child with the wackiest answer will also win the prize pack.
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, with all proceeds donated to Starship Children’s Hospital.
“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 connecting with the North Pole and will open on December 1 2006.
ENDS

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