BT has picked Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO to run a multi-million pound
corporate campaign to win the support of consumers and business leaders
for its costly plan to become a world-beating tele-communications
BT is said to be ready to put up to pounds 7 million behind the
initiative - three times the amount previously spent through Saatchi and
Abbott Mead is understood to be preparing an autumn TV campaign that
will be in sharp contrast to previous work produced by the Charlotte
Street agency. The old work featured Professor Stephen Hawking and Sir
Edmund Hillary, the first person to climb Mount Everest.
The appointment follows a secret contest in which Abbott Mead and
Saatchis were asked to present proposals for BT’s corporate strategy
over the next three to five years.
The change of emphasis from the previous ‘helping to keep the world
talking’ theme is crucial to its strategy of convincing a sceptical
public that it needs to generate huge profits in order to fund its
transformation into the world’s leading telecommunications company.
BT is looking for support as it confronts big US rivals such as AT&T,
which is making inroads into Europe. It also wants to stop the advance
of cable companies and present a strong case to industry regulators, who
are intent on driving down prices.
Jennifer Laing, the Saatchis chairman, insisted its relationship with BT
would continue. ‘It’s sad we didn’t get this project but there will be
others,’ she commented. ‘BT is going through a period of change and we
have to build a new relationship.’