CLIENT OF THE WEEK: Telecoms man finds identity - Dominic Owens hired AMV to give BT Business its ’big idea’, Eleanor Trickett says

In his career, Dominic Owens seems rarely to have been more than two steps away from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. He worked there as an account man, put it on a couple of pitch-lists (previously to no avail) and has now, as BT’s head of marketing communications, finally taken on the agency to fatten up the BT Business campaign (Campaign, last week).

In his career, Dominic Owens seems rarely to have been more than

two steps away from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. He worked there as an

account man, put it on a couple of pitch-lists (previously to no avail)

and has now, as BT’s head of marketing communications, finally taken on

the agency to fatten up the BT Business campaign (Campaign, last

week).



Not that BDDH is out of the equation altogether. Owens insists: ’We want

BDDH to pick this ad up and run with it. We wanted to relaunch BT

Business and one agency had to do it. BDDH is still doing our specialist

work on individual products and could even be on the TV again.’



Owens is keen to stress that AMV wasn’t chosen for the massive relaunch

task as a slight to BDDH. ’We had this phrase, ’change the way you

work’, and we wanted a big agency that would pick that up and give it a

big creative idea.’



BT Business has never quite managed to create a memorable identity. And

the new advertising finally brings the curtain down on BDDH’s soap-opera

format. ’The problem is that BT Business does so many things,’ Owens

explains. ’If there are too many products, the ads don’t work. Most

people don’t want to know about the technical side, but we are all lucky

that something as big as communications is changing so much.’



Owens has a record of being tough on his advertising, as demonstrated

when he walked out of his role as the Prudential’s head of advertising

in January 1996, claiming that the insurance giant’s marketing had lost

direction. Last October he left his post as Mercury Communications’

marketing services manager after only nine months in the job, partly

because of his dissatisfaction with its ’Oliver and Claire’

campaign.



At last Owens seems content that he has chosen the right agency for the

right task at the right time. So what does he really think of the new

ad? ’I just know that this one is kind of special. I’m more excited

about this than about anything I’ve done before.’