Conduit hires marketing chief for 192 assault

Conduit, the Irish directory enquiries (DQ) specialist, has appointed Kieran McCourt as marketing director, with a brief to spearhead its assault on the UK’s soon-to-be deregulated 192 market.

Kieran McCourt, sales and marketing manager at Irish telecoms leader Eircom, has already taken up his position at Conduit’s Cardiff office. Neither McCourt nor Conduit were officially making any comment as Marketing Week went to press.

McCourt joins in the middle of an advertising agency pitch. The company is understood to have shortlisted Partners BDDH, Bates UK and Leo Burnett.

McCourt, who had responsibility for Eircom’s numbers listing business, will be expected to fight off stiff competition for a share of the UK’s &£300m DQ market.

His task will be to build “household name” familiarity for the service number and brand (MW, May 16). Conduit’s marketing in the UK is expected to encompass both aboveand below-the-line channels.

McCourt will report to Gary Purcell, sales and marketing director at Conduit Group’s Dublin headquarters. Purcell himself has just been promoted internally from the position of managing director of the UK subsidiary. This vacated role has been filled by Neil Evans, who was financial controller of Conduit UK.

Oftel recently handed out more than 300 variants of the new six-digit 118 codes that, from December, will run in competition with the existing 192 number, which will be axed completely by the end of 2003.

Other DQ specialists moving into the UK include Germany’s Telegate and US-based Infonexx. All three are in the process of choosing marketing agencies to oversee launch budgets reputed to be in the region of &£15m.

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