Orange appoints Craik Jones to pounds 25m brief

Orange, the mobile phone company, has hired Craik Jones Watson

Mitchell Voelkel for its pounds 25 million customer communications

business.



The account was previously handled by DP&A, which declined to repitch

for the business. Craik Jones pitched against WWAV Rapp Collins and Lowe

Live for the account in a review that was handled by the AAR.



The appointment of Craik Jones will not affect Lowe Live's customer

acquisition account. Craik Jones' role will be to retain and build

loyalty among Orange's existing ten million customers, while Lowe Live

will continue to focus on recruitment.



The decision to award the business to Craik Jones, traditionally one of

the most creative direct marketing agencies, is a blow to WWAV, which

recently lost its One2One account to Claydon Heeley Jones Mason.



An additional pitch for Orange Direct, Orange's business-to-business

sales side, is still in process. Agencies pitching for the pounds 6

million account include WWAV, Lowe Live and Clark McKay & Walpole. A

decision is expected later this week.



Orange will hope that Craik Jones can stem customer churn as market

saturation has led to fewer new customers signing up.



It will target customers with offers on new services and upgrades and

its remit may include a customer magazine.



Orange is the UK's third-largest mobile network behind Vodafone and BT

Cellnet. Last year it switched its UK advertising account from WCRS to

Lowe Lintas.



David Watson, the managing director of Craik Jones, refused to comment

on the win.



Orange has strengthened its internal team with the recent hiring of

Centrica marketer Tony Mooney to fill the role of head of customer

relationship management. Mooney reports to Orange's UK group director of

customer relations, Ian Parker.



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