Vodafone to end endorsement relationship with David Beckham

LONDON - Vodafone has ended its three-year relationship with its advertising frontman David Beckham and is not planning to replace him.

A spokesman for the company confirmed that it is not renewing its contract with the footballer, and said that Vodafone Live!'s future marketing will probably be "less personality driven from a global perspective".

However, he added that there was no reason why personality-led marketing might not be used in campaigns for local markets.

Vodafone Live!, the company's hub for its content services, operates in a number of global markets, including the UK, Spain, the US and Japan.

The mobile operator has ambitious plans to build the brand globally and feels that Beckham's focus on his UK-based Football Academy project and advertising deals with brands such as beauty giant Coty and Gillette are at odds with its global strategy.

Vodafone signed up Beckham for two years after the 2002 World Cup to launch Vodafone Live!. The following April, Beckham hit the headlines over allegations that he had had an affair with Rebecca Loos. However, despite speculation that this would damage his relationship with Vodafone, the company extended its contract with him for another 12 months.

In November, Vodafone Live! kicked off a £13m campaign starring Beckham promoting the launch of 3G services.

Last week, it was announced that Coty is creating an internal division called the Beckham Beauty House to spearhead the global launch of a range of cosmetics and toiletries marketed under David and Victoria's names. Coty linked up with the Beckhams earlier this year to develop and launch a beauty range.

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