M&C Saatchi loses £16m Wanadoo business

LONDON - M&C Saatchi has lost Wanadoo's £16 million advertising account as the internet service provider brand has become part of the pan-European review by its parent company, France Telecom.

The telecoms giant, known as Orange in the UK, has shortlisted a number of agency pairings for its £200 million consolidated creative business, but M&C Saatchi is not involved.

DDB is working alongside BBDO, Fallon is collaborating with Publicis Groupe's Paris-based creative hotshop Marcel, and WPP's Red Cell network is pitching with Y&R France. Euro RSCG and FCB are also in the running.

Orange's UK incumbent, Mother, is pitching for the UK business. France Telecom is believed to have told the agency that if it is successful, ideas it presents may be used across European markets. The successful agencies will manage the core Orange brand and will be responsible for rebranding Wanadoo as Orange. France Telecom's decision to subsume the ISP into Orange was based on the strength of the latter's brand.

The review, which includes business-to-business work, is part of France Telecom's strategy to rename its entire business Orange. The review was kicked off at the end of last year and is being managed from France Telecom's Paris headquarters.

The Wanadoo brand, which was introduced to the UK in May 2004, is expected to disappear soon after the review is completed.

M&C Saatchi was set to pitch alongside BBDO for the ISP brand last year.

The review was put on hold as France Telecom rethought its global marketing strategy. Last summer, M&C Saatchi created an outdoor campaign featuring "the Wanadoo family". Each execution promoted a different element of the internet package and appeared on 12,000 poster sites.

Orange was unavailable for comment as Campaign went to press.

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