BT drops slogan in 160m review

BT has confirmed its 160m advertising account will be reviewed next month, signalling the end of one of the most famous lines in British advertising – “It’s good to talk” (MW December 18).

Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO has held the account for four years. Its contract runs until March 1999 but the statutory review process, including pitches from other agencies if they are invited to tender, will be completed before that date.

According to European Union competition law, all BT’s supplier accounts have to be tendered through the Official Journal of the European Community.

A BT spokesman says the review, expected to start within a month, will mean the end of the well-known slogan, which AMV will not use when it repitches. He says: “AMV will go for a different approach. ‘It’s good to talk’ has had a good run.

“It is very, very difficult for an incumbent to repitch. If it goes with the same campaign, it’s seen as boring; if it does something new, it seems as if the current work is inadequate.”

BT head of marketing communications Tim Evans will oversee the review. Evans is acting as head of advertising until the position is filled. It is widely expected to be an external appointment.

In April, AMV added to its lion’s share of the BT business when it won BT’s 10m business and consumer press account. Its media agency, New PHD, won the whole media strategy account at the same time.

Partners BDDH is BT’s other creative agency.

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