France Telecom’s decision to split its &£200m pan-European advertising account between Publicis Groupe and Havas has been slammed as a “French stitch up” by the advertising industry.
Fallon London and Paris-based creative hotshop Marcel will handle the consumer business, while Euro RSCG has been awarded the business-to-business account following a protracted review.
The news would appear to spell the end of Mother’s four-year relationship with Orange but Marketing Week has learned that senior members of the company’s UK marketing department are so angry at the decision that they are insisting the agency is retained in some capacity.
France Telecom executives are meeting in Paris today (Wednesday) to discuss each agency’s role. Orange UK director of brand marketing Pippa Dunn is believed to be one of those campaigning to keep Mother on.
A source close to the situation says: “There is a feeling at Orange UK that France Telecom was just paying them lip service. Because this was a France Telecom pitch and not an Orange UK pitch, they were always going to make sure French interests would be served.”
A France Telecom spokesman denies the agencies were appointed because they are part of French holding companies. He says the pitch was conducted in English and the jury was international and included executives from Orange and Wanadoo in the UK.
Analysis, page 13