Martin Dawes scraps Cellphones Direct label

The Cellphones Direct brand is to disappear 18 months after the company was acquired by Martin Dawes Telecommunications.

Cellphones Direct, the off-the-page mobile phone service provider, increased Martin Dawes’ subscriber base to 530,000 and its share of the mobile phone market to 8 per cent when it was taken over in April 1997.

But this week Cellphones Direct customers will be sent notification that, as from October, their bills will be sent under the Martin Dawes name. At that time Cellphones Direct will cease to exist.

A Martin Dawes spokesman says: “There will be no investment in the Cellphones Direct brand and it will, in effect, cease to be.”

In 1996, before its acquisition, the company spent 5m on above-the-line advertising through Golley Slater. The Collins Partnership held the media account.

Following the takeover in June 1997, Martin Dawes called an agency pitch to relaunch the Cellphones Direct business but an appointment was never made.

Cellphones Direct was founded in 1994 and employed 200 people in the UK and 40 in South Africa. It had a turnover in March 1997 of 62m.

Its acquisition allowed Martin Dawes entry to the mobile phone market through a widely advertised national consumer brand.

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