Hutchison Whampoa, the Hong Kong telecoms conglomerate, will pick
one of five agencies to handle the pounds 30 million launch of its
third-generation mobile phone network in the UK.
HHCL & Partners, Saatchi & Saatchi, Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners
and TBWA/London are under consideration with another shop, which would
have to resign conflicting business to handle the account.
All the contenders, selected with the help of the AAR, have made
credentials presentations, with three expected to be shortlisted by the
end of the week.
The selection of the finalists is the latest stage in a protracted
process, which was started almost a year ago but was then delayed by
changes in the Hutchison marketing team and also by funding issues.
Since then, the company has hired Yael Voda as its ad manager. It also
has Doug Hamilton, the Wolff Olins executive creative director, who
created the Orange brand for Hutchison, on secondment to work on the new
Pitches are expected to take place soon. Hutchison chiefs are keen to
have a creative agency in place before making any media
Hutchison, headed by Li Ka-shing, one of the world's richest men, is
looking to the winning agency to replicate the success of Orange, one of
the UK's most successful brand launches, in establishing the country's
fifth mobile phone network brand.
Hutchison was briefly absent from the UK telecoms market after selling
Orange to Mannesmann for pounds 20 billion in November 1999. But it
underscored ambitious plans to return with the pounds 4.4 billion
purchase of a third generation mobile phone licence.
Despite Hutchison's experience of the UK market it will be up against
well-established competitors in Vodafone AirTouch, BTCellnet, One2One
and Orange, all of which have established customer bases.