Iris faces review of T-Mobile direct marketing business

T-Mobile is set to review part of its £10m below-the-line business held by Iris.

The agency handles retail and channel development work for the mobile operator in the UK. T-Mobile says it is standard practice to review its agency arrangements every year, but Marketing Week understands the company has been talking to below-the-line agencies about its retail and relationship marketing activity for some time with a view to holding a pitch.

Iris has worked with the mobile network for three years and was appointed to handle its channel development in 2003. It delivers all T-Mobile’s channel development promotions through retailers including Carphone Warehouse, Phones4U, Argos, Comet and Tesco.

Tullo Marshall Warren, which handles the bulk of T-Mobile’s £10m direct marketing account, is believed to be unaffected.

T-Mobile appointed Unilever Bestfoods marketer Philip Chapman as marketing director at the end of last year (MW November 25, 2004) when Sandy Munro resigned after two years in the role.

The company announced earlier this month that it is to lay off an estimated 800 employees and that the marketing department would be affected (MW February 10).

T-Mobile chief executive Rene Obermann said at the 3GSM trade conference in Cannes last week that the company was withdrawing subsidies on its pre-paid handsets because it was no longer feasible to offer pay-as-you-go handsets at a fraction of the cost for which it bought them.

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