BTCellnet has moved its &£20m press and radio media buying account out of New PHD and into Zenith, consolidating the business with that of parent company BT.
The move adds to the &£56m worth of BT business the agency already handles, according to AC Nielsen Register-MEAL.
New PHD has retained the mobile phone operator’s media planning but lost out in a pitch for the media buying against Zenith and other unnamed agencies.
The Allmond Partnership remains as BTCellnet’s TV and cinema media agency. Abbott Mead Vickers. BBDO handles most of BT and BTCellnet’s creative business.
A spokesman for BTCellnet says: “The move into Zenith is simply to combine the power of our own and BT’s buying. The consolidation in no way reflects badly on New PHD, which is indicated by the fact that it has kept the planning business.”
BTCellnet spent &£20m through New PHD in the year to June 1999 (AC Nielsen register-MEAL). The date for Zenith to begin work on the account has yet to be confirmed.
Mobile phone subscriber figures for the first quarter of 2000 show the UK’s number three and four players, Orange and One 2 One, gaining subscribers faster than market leaders Vodafone and BTCellnet.
BTCellnet added 457,00 new customers to bring its total to 8 million, while Vodafone added 851,000, bringing its customer base up to 8.8 million.
Orange saw the fastest growth, adding 1.1 million customers over the three months, bringing its total to 6 million.
One 2 One added 861,000 customers, making a total of 5 million; about 230,000 of these connected through Virgin Mobile.