AMV BBDO out as VCCP picks up O2

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and the BBDO network have been fired from

the pan-European O2 account with the start-up Vallance Carruthers

Coleman Priest scooping the £45 million prize.

The new agency's line-up comprises the founders Rooney Carruthers, the

ex-executive creative director of FCB San Francisco, Charles Vallance,

the executive strategy director of Vodafone's agency WCRS, Ian Priest,

the ex-managing director of HHCL & Partners, and Adrian Coleman, the

chief executive of the Chime division AMD.

The news is a blow for AMV, which won the O2 account - the mobile phone

brand that replaces BT Cellnet from April - last September. Agency

Insight had been briefed to draw up a shortlist of networks to pitch for

O2's business, but the decision was reversed shortly afterwards and BBDO

was handed the account based on its existing relationship with BT


The move reunites Will Harris, the vice-president of marketing at mm02

and the former WCRS account director on Orange, with Vallance and

Carruthers, who together were responsible for Orange's launch seven

years ago.

The privately funded VCCP will produce creative work to run in all

European markets for the launch of O2 in April. A series of locally

appointed agencies will form a virtual network to implement the creative

produced by the lead agency. It has not yet been decided which local

agencies the company will use.

The brand will launch in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands and


Carruthers, one of the founders of VCCP, said: "It's like doing Orange

all over again, but better."

The agency will run out of Godman's offices, where Carruthers has

latterly been directing, for the forthcoming weeks while it looks for

offices in the Savile Row area.

"I thank AMV for all of its work and am sure it will continue to be very

successful" Harris said. "You'd have to be either brave or stupid to

fire London's biggest agency three months before the biggest brand

launch of the year, and time will tell which one we are."

AMV was unavailable for comment on the news as Campaign went to press.

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