Phones 4 U starts price war

CheethamBellJWT faces a fight to hold on to its £11 million Phones 4 U business as it launches a major new campaign for the mobile phone retailer.

The Cardwell Group, which owns the chain, is known to have approached at least two London agencies about a pitch.

The news coincides with the start of new advertising featuring the Flight of the Conchords, a pair of comedy folk singers from New Zealand. They will spearhead the attempt to wrest market leadership from the Carphone Warehouse in a campaign that drops the "Ashamed of your mobile?" line in favour of "Phones for less, Phones 4 U".

The group is pledging to undercut all competitors' handset prices, a tactic it claims is vital if it is to protect itself in a market where major consolidation is predicted over the next 18 months and where the cost of handsets will be key.

It believes it can boost its market share to 20 per cent before the end of the year - to within just 3 per cent of the Carphone Warehouse figure.

The ad, breaking nationally this Saturday, features the duo driving around Britain in a VW campervan with a huge speaker mounted on its roof promoting the "phones for less" offering.

The ad was written and art directed by Andy Cheetham and Chris Gaffney and directed by Pedro Romanhyi through Outsider.

Media is by MediaVest Manchester.