Hutchison 3G shifts its DM work to TBWA GGT

The Communications Agency is losing its grip on Hutchison 3G's direct marketing business as TBWA/GGT Direct prepares to assume more responsibility on the account.

GGT's involvement with the mobile phone network operator began in March this year when the agency was handed Hutchison's interactive advertising account following a successful pitch against Rufus Leonard AMX and Lost Boys.

It is believed that GGT is to now become a permanent part of Hutchison's roster, taking charge of some of the direct marketing business originally assigned to The Communications Agency.

As Campaign went to press, no-one at either agency was available for comment.

The move will come as a welcome boost to GGT in a week in which its main client, NatWest, announced that it is to review its £20 million direct marketing business.

GGT will now follow in the footsteps of its sister agency TBWA/London, which is on Hutchison's above-the-line roster, and will be working with it on its fourth-quarter launch campaign to both the British and Italian markets.

Hutchison 3G, which is due to launch under the name 3, is one of five mobile phone groups licensed to operate a 3G network - the other four are Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange and O2. It will be the first operator to launch in the UK and also intends to introduce a web portal, which will offer 3's customers a range of lifestyle and information services.

However, the Dutch telephone group KPN this week announced that it is to sell its 15 per cent stake in the company. KPN said the decision was owing to the fact that Hutchison has no existing UK client base and is the fifth player in a crowded market.

The news was greeted with disappointment by Hutchison 3G's majority shareholder, Hutchison Whampoa, which owns 65 per cent of the company.

- Close up, p22.

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