WPJ scoops brief from Carphone Warehouse

Carphone Warehouse has appointed Will Pond-Jones Collective to mastermind its aggressive assault on BT's monopoly of the £8 billion fixed-line telephony market.

The Chime agency won the business following a privately held pitch and will start work straight away on a launch strategy for Carphone Warehouse's residential offering, talktalk. The first fruits of this partnership will be a TV campaign breaking initially in London.

Carphone Warehouse's main creative account is handled by Clemmow Hornby Inge. The agency was unable to handle talktalk owing to a conflict with its BT client.

Talktalk, a joint venture between Carphone Warehouse and Sainsbury's, is the latest offering to threaten BT's 70 per cent share of the fixed-line market. Sainsbury's main rival, Tesco, is about to launch a similar initiative with Cable & Wireless, while Centrica, the owner of One.Tel and British Gas Communications, claims it has already recruited 200,000 residential customers.

Carphone Warehouse's chief executive, Charles Dunstone, said: "BT makes money through inertia. Apathy is what protects BT's dominant position.

Carphone Warehouse's two million customers already trust our advice on mobile phones. It will be a small leap to explain the substantial savings they can reap from signing up to talktalk."

By entering the residential market, Dunstone is hoping to take advantage of the new "carrier pre-selection" service that requires BT to automatically connect consumers to economical companies.

Dunstone added: "What impressed me about WPJ's proposals was the sheer ambition and cheek of its thinking."

Ed Will, a WPJ founding partner, added: "We are delighted to be given the opportunity to show how our new model of combining advertising and PR can really make ideas famous."

WPJ Collective was launched in January by Will and Jay Pond-Jones, the chief executive and creative director respectively at sister agency Roose.

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