Cellnet revives marketing role with Esberger

Cellnet has recruited Simon Esberger as its marketing director on the eve of a new 10m ad campaign design-ed to reverse its fall in subscribers amid growing competition from Orange, Vodafone and One2One.

Esberger was most recently marketing director at Mercury Communications where he commissioned last year’s Oliver & Claire ads from HHCL & Partners. Esberger left Mercury earlier this year after the company was folded into the merged Cable & Wireless Communications.

The mobile phone operator has not had a marketing director since Steve Rowley quit (MW April 26 1996). Cellnet’s then managing director Howard Ford appointed a brand director Tim Evans, believing that the marketing director role was obsolete. Evans continues in his role. Last month, Cellnet warned of a further 40m provision for losses because of a failed attempt to build a billing system.

“The market has changed and (managing director) Ray Smith has a different approach, and has decided that a marketing director is needed,” says a Cellnet spokesman.

The TV campaign, devised by Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, breaks on Monday.

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