France Telecom’s &£31bn acquisition of Orange is likely to lead to the creation of a &£100m global advertising account, which may be snared by a UK agency.
The French telecoms giant intends to drop its two mobile phone brands, Itineris and Ola, in favour of using Orange as a global mobile brand.
The company is France’s second-largest advertiser – it spent about &£200m on advertising last year, a third of which was for its mobile services. CLM/BBDO Paris handles Itineris and BDDP France handles Ola.
Orange began a review of its &£32m UK creative advertising account in March, after seven years with WCRS, part of the French advertising group Havas’ Campus network.
Lowe Lintas and TBWA GGT Simons Palmer are pitching for the account. WCRS says it is not pitching but is still being considered for the work. BDDP, the Ola agency, is a subsidiary of TBWA.
Orange would not confirm whether the UK pitch is for a global account covering the areas France Telecom operates in – including France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Romania and the Slovak Republic – or whether France Telecom’s agencies will be asked to pitch.
But a wide-scale reorganisation of advertising responsibilities and strategy seems likely as “New” Orange is set to become Europe’s second largest mobile operator, after Vodafone AirTouch, with over 20 million subscribers.