C&W breakaway hunts agency for 5m brief

International telecoms company Interoute is to hire an advertising agency for the first time. The move follows Tom Frankfort’s appointment as marketing director.

The company, formed three years ago by Cable & Wireless executives, operates telecoms networks and retail businesses for residential and corporate clients throughout Europe and North America.

Frankfort, former Cable & Wireless head of product strategy, has been charged with developing a European marketing strategy. He has begun a search for an agency to handle the account, which is thought to be worth about 5m.

He is also recruiting a product marketing manager and two other marketers who will be based at the company’s London headquarters. Newly appointed marketing manager Evelyn McManus will conduct the pitch.

Frankfort says: “I want an agency to help create our marketing framework, corporate positioning, identity and advertising.”

Previously, the company produced advertising specific to the locality of the European retail businesses, which include services such as low-cost call routing, premium rate, freephone, Internet, ISDN and fax services.

Interoute’s majority shareholder, the Fondation de Famille Sandoz, recently acquired Internet service providers World OnLine and Pingnet and intends to integrate compatible parts of the businesses.

“Sandoz is committed to building a global company and our positioning should reflect that. We are going to be big and are keen not to be seen as a traditional telecoms company,” says Frankfort.

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