Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and the BBDO network have been fired from
the pan-European O2 account with the start-up Vallance Carruthers
Coleman Priest scooping the £45 million prize.
The new agency's line-up comprises the founders Rooney Carruthers, the
ex-executive creative director of FCB San Francisco, Charles Vallance,
the executive strategy director of Vodafone's agency WCRS, Ian Priest,
the ex-managing director of HHCL & Partners, and Adrian Coleman, the
chief executive of the Chime division AMD.
The news is a blow for AMV, which won the O2 account - the mobile phone
brand that replaces BT Cellnet from April - last September. Agency
Insight had been briefed to draw up a shortlist of networks to pitch for
O2's business, but the decision was reversed shortly afterwards and BBDO
was handed the account based on its existing relationship with BT
The move reunites Will Harris, the vice-president of marketing at mm02
and the former WCRS account director on Orange, with Vallance and
Carruthers, who together were responsible for Orange's launch seven
The privately funded VCCP will produce creative work to run in all
European markets for the launch of O2 in April. A series of locally
appointed agencies will form a virtual network to implement the creative
produced by the lead agency. It has not yet been decided which local
agencies the company will use.
The brand will launch in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands and
Carruthers, one of the founders of VCCP, said: "It's like doing Orange
all over again, but better."
The agency will run out of Godman's offices, where Carruthers has
latterly been directing, for the forthcoming weeks while it looks for
offices in the Savile Row area.
"I thank AMV for all of its work and am sure it will continue to be very
successful" Harris said. "You'd have to be either brave or stupid to
fire London's biggest agency three months before the biggest brand
launch of the year, and time will tell which one we are."
AMV was unavailable for comment on the news as Campaign went to press.