WCRS wins £6m Vodafone retail business without pitch

Vodafone has handed WCRS its £6 million retail business in a

move that consolidates the advertiser's entire £51 million account

into the agency.



The business was awarded without a competitive pitch. Bates UK was the

incumbent on the retail business, while BMP DDB lost the lion's share of

the Vodafone account in February.



WCRS's task for Vodafone retail is expected to involve repositioning the

400 branch-strong chain from simply being a sales point to the wider

positioning of customer advice centres. The agency's first retail work

for the UK market, which is the largest in Europe, is due to break in

October.



The move comes as mobile phone retailers battle for market share in a

very crowded industry dominated by the Carphone Warehouse, The Link and

Pocketphone.



The win takes WCRS to the top of Campaign's new-business performance

league, overtaking Bates, which has held the number one position since

it won BSkyB's advertising account at the beginning of the year.



Jason Coward, the managing director of WCRS, said: "This appointment

consolidates our position as Vodafone UK's lead agency. We are delighted

by this vote of confidence from our client."



Vodafone's global business is with Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam. The

agency is currently airing its first global campaign for the brand.



The company unexpectedly handed WCRS the Vodafone account in February

without a competitive pitch. WCRS had lost its key Orange account the

previous summer to Lowe Lintas.



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