3 calls 39m ad review after WCRS split

Mobile operator 3 is reviewing its 39m advertising account after parting company with WCRS. The review follows the appointment of John Penberthy-Smith as marketing director last month.

Mobile operator 3 is reviewing its £39m advertising account after parting company with WCRS. The review follows the appointment of John Penberthy-Smith as marketing director last month.

The company is using the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers to conduct the review. WCRS will not repitch for the account.

Speculation has been mounting about a review in recent months after WCRS partner Julian Hough returned to the agency after a two-year secondment at 3 and a host of management changes followed.

3’s director of brand and marketing communications Gary Pepler, who joined from Sony in June to replace Hough, left at the end of last year after less than six months. Kevin Russell joined as deputy chief executive from 3 Australia at the start of this year and Penberthy-Smith was promoted from director of customer marketing to marketing director to replace Graeme Oxby three weeks ago.

Penberthy-Smith says 3’s relationship with WCRS will end in the spring and adds: “We’ve taken a close look at our communications and how they can help drive the 3 brand forward as we move into the next stage of our development. We’ve come to an amicable agreement with WCRS that a new phase for this business requires a fresh view.”

3’s ad account was previously held by TBWA/London. The mobile company reviewed the business at the end of 2003 and retained TBWA but appointed WCRS, which had pitched for the account, to launch its pay-as-you-go offer. In May 2004, 3 moved the rest of the business from TBWA to WCRS. The agency went onto create a string of high-profile campaigns for 3 that featured dancing jellyfish, singing cherries and milkmaids.

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