Orange boss forced to defend ‘Learn’ ads

Orange vice-president of marketing Jeremy Dale, is taking the unprecedented step of publicly defending the company’s current high-profile Learn initiative following a barrage of criticism.

At a two-hour briefing, set to take place today (Wednesday) Dale will present the case for the mobile phone company’s recent change in advertising strategy, and attempt to convince the press it has been a success.

The move comes amid several weeks of criticism of the Orange campaign, including some savage comments from Orange founder Hans Snook. He recently said that the Orange ads were “absolutely the worst things I have ever seen”.

An Orange spokesman denies the briefing is defensive, adding: “There has been a hell of a lot of interest in our campaign.”

The Learn initiative was launched just seven weeks ago, backed by a £10m advertising campaign created by Mother. The ads feature a 13-year-old boy called Dylan who teaches Orange’s retail staff – now renamed trainers – how to help consumers make the most of their phones.

l Orange has appointed Bill Stewart as head of global marketing and not Brian Stewart as reported.

He will report to Orange chief executive Sol Trujillo not Sanjiv Anuja.

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