Orange, one of advertising’s biggest success stories in recent
years, is holding a review of its pounds 30 million account.
The mobile phone operator’s orange and black colours, and its slogan,
’The future’s bright, the future’s orange’, have built the company into
one of the UK’s most recognisable brands since it launched seven years
It soon became the UK’s fastest-growing mobile phone network, and is now
the country’s third largest after Vodafone and Cellnet.
Now, however, Orange wishes to devote more resources to promoting what
it describes as ’future projects’ and is looking for an agency with
talent in this area.
Richard Brennan, the commercial director, said that Orange would
continue to work with WCRS on brand advertising. ’We just wanted to
stick our head over the parapet and see what other agencies are out
there. Things are going to be changing for us very quickly over the next
few years as technology changes. Our competitors will broaden from being
other phone companies to the computer and the internet.’
He declined to discuss which other agencies were involved in the
process, but is understood to have enlisted the services of the AAR to
help draw up a shortlist.
The move constitutes the third major blow for WCRS so far this year.
Last week Sega Europe pulled its pounds 60 million pan-European account
out of WCRS and appointed Bartle Bogle Hegarty and BMP DDB instead. A
month earlier, Rover stripped WCRS of its pounds 30 million
international account after a tenure of only five months.
Orange itself faces an uncertain future since its parent, the German
conglomerate, Mannesmann, was recently acquired by the telecoms giant,
Vodafone Airtouch. It is still unclear whether both mobile phone
operators will remain inside the group.
Media buying, which is handled by Mediapolis, is understood to be
unaffected by the review at this stage.
WCRS launched Orange with a blockbuster commercial featuring hundreds of
people on bicycles and introducing the new slogan.
WCRS and Orange have fought a number of battles with advertising
watchdogs since then over their daring comparative price campaigns.