Orange faces loss of its top marketer

The woman behind some of Orange’s high profile campaigns looks set to leave the company

Orange group director of marketing Lisa Gernon is understood to be leaving the mobile telecoms company.

Gernon joined Orange in May 1994 from Hutchinson Telecom, where she was marketing director. She was previously commercial director of Cellnet. She joined the telecoms market in 1984 when she was marketing and advertising manager for BT Radio Paging.

Orange and Gernon were unavailable for comment as Marketing Week went to press.

Gernon was responsible for the award-winning Vietnam advertising campaign through WCRS, followed by the controversial campaign of comparative ads.

This week, Orange announced pre-tax losses of 125m for the first half of this year, a 40 per cent decrease on last year’s 88.8m loss.

But the company’s turnover for the first half year was 156 per cent up on the same period last year.

Group managing director Hans Snook says: “We continue to meet our business plan’s expectations with strong growth year on year in Orange subscribers and revenues, sustained high average revenue per subscriber and reduced churn.”

Since its launch in April 1994, Orange had risen from nowhere to become a 2.5bn company. It holds about eight per cent of the UK market. The company claims 600,000 subscribers in the UK. Last year, it had 380,000 subscribers.

Vodafone and Cellnet enjoyed a duopoly in the market until the Government opened up the market and Orange and Mercury moved into the sector.

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