CLOSE-UP: NEWSMAKER/DAVID HAINES - Vodafone's global operator calls on JWT for help. David Haines is confident he can give Vodafone one voice, Jeremy White writes

Vodafone, over the past year or so, has faced a particularly thorny marketing problem. An accelerated process of acquisition has seen it become a truly global company. However, the hostile takeovers that have powered this growth have created substantial political obstacles to the creation of a global brand.

David Haines, Vodafone's global brand director, is the man brought in to craft a solution - and last week he made his intentions clear. After overcoming the reluctance of local management, Haines is ending all of Vodafone's local agency relationships and handing the entire global task to J. Walter Thompson.

As he explains, after finally introducing the Vodafone brand to all local markets, a global ad strategy was the logical next step.

"We'll be able to do a better job getting the local offices of JWT to talk to each other, talk to the centre, help facilitate good ideas and move quickly from market to market,

he says.

JWT is obviously gambolling with happiness over this win as it garners the network an estimated £1.5 billion in billings worldwide. However, the appointment stops short of handing the agency creative leadership on the account. That remains with Wieden & Kennedy in Amsterdam while, in the UK, WCRS remains on standby for "project work".

Haines says: "Wieden comes up with the creative direction and makes some work. But the size of our business is so vast that we still make an awful lot of local work."

Haines is used to vast international campaigns. He began his career with Unilever and spent ten years with Mars, rising to become the vice-president of marketing for Mars Europe. This was followed by three years as the deputy chairman and president of Coca-Cola Germany before moving to Vodafone in December 2000.

Haines admits that the ten months it took Vodafone to come to a decision on a global network was long but necessary. "A lengthy and formal process,

as he puts it.

It turns out that the work JWT was doing for Vodafone in Europe while the pitch was taking place clinched it for the network.

"The model that worked very well has been what JWT has been doing in Portugal over the past 12 months,

Haines enthuses. "They took a lot of the Wieden direction but they also went out and made a lot of local work both above and below the line in the spirit of the original campaign. A customer in Portugal doesn't know if the work comes from Wieden or JWT. JWT has taken this global idea and made it local."

Haines is, of course, intimately familiar with the pros and cons of international networks. He's also said to be a client who basks in the attention of adland's heavyweights. The names linked to the Vodafone account since his arrival add up to a name-droppers dream, with Robin Wight of WCRS, Jim Heekin of McCann-Erickson and, of course, Sir Martin Sorrell all drawn into the frame at different points.

Haines was far from the only player involved in the appointment of JWT.

David Wheldon, the chairman of Tempus Partners, is in effect the outsourced global communications director for Vodafone and works closely with Haines.

On the surface, WPP's acquisition of Tempus in November may appear to have turned this pre-existing relationship into a conflict of interest - a WPP-owned company advising a client on a global pitch, which is then handed to a WPP network.

Wheldon is adamant that this potential conflict had no effect on his advice to Vodafone. "Tempus Partners is successful because it gives independent objective advice,

he says. "It did when it was owned by Tempus and it does now that it is owned by WPP."

The fact that W&K is still in the creative driving seat backs up this claim - as does the fact that, while Wheldon was involved in the pitch, logistics were handled by Agency Insight. However, the only factor that can truly nullify such concerns has to be Haines himself. Multinational experience such as his ought to guarantee sound judgment irrespective of network politics.

"The benefit of having worked for Mars and Coke has been immense,

he admits. "But you can't just come in here and paste and reapply - you have to take the principles and think laterally, take some of the principles of Vodafone and apply those and you come out with a new mixture; not a Mars way or Coke way but a Vodafone way."

Haines knows a big role of this marketing drive is to raise Vodafone's market value, which has slumped from more than 500p to less than 200p in the past two years.

"We are building real value. This is about business not marketing and the glitzy world of advertising on its own. This is about building value for our shareholders and in the end getting a brand that is worth a lot of money,

he says.