Icstis seeks agency before rebrand

Icstis, the premium rate services regulator, is seeking an advertising agency ahead of plans to rebrand.

The regulator will be renamed PhonePayPlus in October as part of move to become more relevant and proactive.

Icstis is seeking an agency to handle all of its marketing and communications including consumer and trade campaigns. It has issued a tender ahead of the pitch, which will be led by head of communications Parool Patel.

Patel, who joined the regulator from agency Saatchi & Saatchi last month, says that PhonePayPlus will be a “modern regulatory body with a very clear remit for consumer protection”.

The rebrand follows a torrid year for the premium rate services industry.

Broadcasters, producers and phone handling services were summoned to an emergency Icstis meeting in March following a run of allegations and admissions of TV shows hosting “dodgy” premium rate and interactive services.

Icstis director George Kidd has admitted the regulator had to be more proactive rather than react to problems as it had done in the past (MW March 15).

It accepts that it has low awareness levels among consumers and that opinion formers believe the name (which stands for the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of the Telephone Information Services) is “meaningless”.

The rebrand will also see the regulator introduce a raft of new consumer protection, youth education programmes and industry advertising campaigns that will focus on a “prevention rather than cure” approach for the industry in future.

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