Vodafone has ruled out the use of retaliatory advertising in the wake of
Orange’s court victory over it last week and a subsequent triumphant ad
Mike Caldwell, Vodafone’s manager of corporate communications, said: ‘We
were disappointed to lose the case, but believe it was the right thing
to do.’ He confirmed that no advertising response is planned.
In its unsuccessful case, Vodafone claimed that Orange’s autumn campaign
- which made a direct comparison between the companies’ tariffs -
contained malicious falsehoods, was misleading and infringed the
Orange’s weekend ad blitz through WCRS consisted of three executions
referring to the court case, and claimed a victory for consumers as well
as for Orange.
Cellnet, the third major player in the mobile telecoms market, also
refused to be influenced by Orange’s tactics. It was on the losing side
of a tussle with Orange last week, when the Advertising Standards
Authority upheld complaints made by Orange against Cellnet’s use of
price comparison in ads. A Cellnet spokesman said: ‘It is best to battle
it out in the market rather than in the courts.’
Orange faces a further challenge as it prepares to launch in Northern
Ireland next year. The company has admitted that a sub-brand may have to
be invented to avoid the political associations that ‘Orange’ carries
in the region. An alternative name has yet to be chosen, but when plans
were being laid for the original launch in 1994, ‘Pecan’ came a close
second to ‘Orange’ as the preferred designation.
Live Issue, p10