Orange executives split over WCRS and Lowe Lintas for £32m account

Executives at mobile phone giant Orange are believed to be split over which agency should handle its &£32m ad account.

Industry sources believe Lowe Lintas & Partners is poised to pick up the account, dealing a severe blow to incumbent WCRS.

Advertising industry insiders are tipping the Interpublic network agency after TBWA GGT Simons Palmer confirmed it was no longer in contention, having been dropped from the pitch list.

It is believed that senior Orange executives favour retaining WCRS, while others prefer to change agency. Lowe Lintas and TBWA pitched for the account following the mobile phone operator’s decision to review (MW March 2), but WCRS is not pitching, as its work is being assessed continuously. An announcement is expected within a fortnight.

WCRS denies it has lost the account it has held for seven years.

A WCRS spokeswoman says: “We have no comment to make on either the decision or the pitch process.”

The &£32m Orange account looks poised to blossom into a &£100m global account following France Telecom’s &£31bn takeover of the UK’s third largest mobile phone network (MW June 8).

France Telecom intends to drop its two mobile phones brands, Itineris and Ola, in favour of using Orange as a global mobile brand.

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