Vodafone has abandoned talks with agencies about its pounds 30
million media planning and buying account, and has centralised the
business directly into BMP Optimum.
Optimum, which held the pounds 15 million Vodafone account, picks up the
retail brands, Talkland and Peoples Phone, which went through the Media
Business and Frontline Media respectively. Optimum’s sister creative
agency, BMP DDB, was appointed in July to handle Vodafone’s rebranding
campaign after the mobile phone giant streamlined its brand portfolio
under the single Vodafone name.
A Vodafone spokesman said: ’We intend to centralise our account with BMP
Optimum. The account is worth up to pounds 30 million with the new
The media buying mix will continue as before and we intend to build a
high-level consumer campaign.’
Vodafone began to trawl for a media agency in July (Campaign, 4 July)
but did not get as far as seeing formal presentations.
BMP has handled media planning, buying and creative services for
Vodafone since January 1996, after gaining the account from the
full-service agency then known as Leopard.
News of Optimum’s appointment comes in the same week that Vodafone
launches a pounds 15 million campaign to highlight the rebranding of
Peoples Phone and Talkland and to promote the company’s new identity
In the 12 months to June, Peoples Phone spent just under pounds 8.1
million on advertising, while Talkland invested just under pounds 3
million. The pounds 30 million budget for the next year includes
additional spend to be pumped into advertising the relaunch.
Vodafone is anxious to maintain its consumer presence in the face of
aggressive tactics by its competitors, Cellnet and Orange. Vodafone,
launched in 1985, was the first mobile phone company but, until last
year, its advertising was dwarfed by that of its two main rivals.
Paul Taylor, the managing director of BMP Optimum, was unavailable for
comment as Campaign went to press.