HPT resigns Virgin for Vodafone direct business

- HPT Brand Response has resigned its Virgin Mobile business to take on the entire consumer direct marketing business for Vodafone after a three-way pitch.

- HPT Brand Response has resigned its Virgin Mobile business to take on the entire consumer direct marketing business for Vodafone after a three-way pitch.

Vodafone's incumbent agency on the "Rewards" loyalty scheme, Evans Hunt Scott, also pitched for the business but lost out in a final head-to-head. The third agency, Clark MacKay & Walpole (formerly CMB) was knocked out after the first round. EHS's position on the roster is unaffected by HPT's win.

Virgin Mobile appointed HPT alongside its parent advertising agency, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R last autumn, but HPT declined to renew the six-month contract when it was due in March.

HPT's task for Vodafone will be to develop a number of customer acquisition and development programmes for it's 8.5 million existing customers and potential ones, which will be the first time that a coherent strategy has been put in place across the entire brand.

Between the three partners, HPT has notched up years of experience on telecoms brands. Tim Patten has been both the head of advertising and new-media at BT while Martin Troughton was its head of direct marketing as well as servicing the Vodafone Retail account while he was the managing director of Bates Communications. Steve Harrison worked on the BT account for seven years at OgilvyOne.

Harrison said: "There is not a managing partnership in London, above or below the line, that is as well-equipped to handle a telecoms account. It is a landmark achievement for us, two years down the line, to win such a grown-up account against such a grown-up agency -- it's very gratifying."



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