Initiative scoops £60m business

Initiative Media has been appointed to handle Orange’s £50m and Freeserve’s £10m UK media business following a European-wide review by the companies’ parent France Telecom.

Initiative Media has been appointed to handle Orange’s &£50m and Freeserve’s &£10m UK media business following a European-wide review by the companies’ parent France Telecom.

The bulk of France Telecom’s UK business moves from Media Planning Group, which buys Orange’s media. Walker Media is the incumbent on the internet service provider Freeserve.

MPG will still handle the bulk of France Telecom’s &£200m business across Europe, including France, Spain and Switzerland. As well as the UK, Initiative will also handle media for France Telecom in Belgium, Denmark, Poland and the Netherlands. Initiative and MPG pitched against six other agencies, including OMD and Zenith Optimedia. France Telecom called a review in April with the aim of cutting the number of media agencies it worked with from nine to two. The move was prompted by France Telecom’s need to reduce its &£46bn debt.

Now the European review has been concluded, Orange is expected to appoint Naked Communications to handle its strategic media planning in the UK. The agency formerly worked with 3.

Orange recently appointed Mother to develop its first pan- European ad campaign, following a pitch against Lowe in Switzerland and BETC Euro RSCG in France. The appointment sees Mother become Orange’s lead strategic agency as the company shifts its advertising strategy from running campaigns market-by-market to a more international approach.

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