3 calls £30m ad agency review

Third-generation mobile phone company 3 has called in the AAR to assist with an advertising review and a search for a new advertising agency.

The move follows weeks of speculation over TBWA/London’s tenure on the £30m account, and the promotion of Graeme Oxby from director of consumer marketing to the company’s new marketing director (MW last week).

Last week, TBWA launched a brand campaign in an effort to keep hold of the business. It is understood that the new ads have failed to impress, and 3 is pressing ahead with a full-scale review. It is believed to be seeing agencies as early as this Friday. It is believed TBWA will be invited to repitch.

TBWA was appointed to the business two years ago, well ahead of the phone service’s UK launch in March. 3 has so far failed to encourage significant numbers of consumers to migrate from their existing service providers and the company brought in Bob Fuller as its new joint chief executive in May. Chief marketer Lisa Gernon opted to revert to her former role as a consultant at the company.

A company insider says 3, which is owned by Hutchison Whampoa, is reviewing advertising as part of an operational review initiated by Fuller. However, a company spokesman will only say: “We are reviewing our agencies all the time.”

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