Orange hands brand reins to digital boss

McHugh%20Align%20StrategyOrange has promoted head of digital and direct marketing Spencer McHugh to the newly created role of head of brand communications. He will take up the role on August 1, reporting to brand director Justin Billingsley.

The appointment is part of Orange’s plans to revamp its digital strategy in line with its “I am” theme. He will also be responsible for managing relationships with the operator’s agencies Fallon and Mother, which creates the Gold Spot cinema ads, and with its media agency. Orange is reviewing its £75m media planning and buying account. Vizeum, i-Level, Mediaedge-:cia, MPG and incumbent Initiative are pitching for the business.

McHugh joined Orange five years ago as head of direct marketing. Previously, he held a series of planning roles at agencies including Publicis. McHugh says he will be “putting digital at the heart” of Orange’s marketing, and that social networks “are definitely something we will take advantage of”.

Billingsley took on a beefed-up role a month ago, as part of chief executive Tom Alexander’s restructure of the business (MW June 12). He now has responsibility for the home business and retail division, in addition to his brand remit.

Meanwhile, Orange- and Sony Ericsson-sponsored MobileAct Unsigned will be relaunched as “OrangeunsignedAct supported by Sony Ericsson” later this year. The show will launch on November 2 on Channel 4 and will be supported by an integrated marketing campaign.

The format of the new show will be different from the last one and it will be open to more singer-songwriters. Orange says the programme is intended to support the new Sony Ericsson Walkman handsets, with which it has an exclusive deal.

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