Orange calls ad review in fresh blow to WCRS

Orange, one of advertising’s biggest success stories in recent years, is holding a review of its pounds 30 million account.

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

ago.



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.



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