Orange puts agencies on alert in European review

LONDON - France Telecom has sparked a pre-Christmas scramble among ad agencies by calling a long-anticipated review of its vast pan-European advertising business, centred on its Orange brand.

The review for the account, which is understood to be worth well over £200m, is being led out of France Telecom's Paris headquarters. The activity is part of an attempt to establish Orange as the company's global consumer brand (Marketing, 1 September).

The review will come as a blow to Orange's UK ad agency, Mother, as France Telecom is believed to be keen to hire up to three network agencies to handle the business across its key markets, including France and the UK.

The successful agencies, which will work primarily on Orange, will be instrumental in the rebrand of the Wanadoo internet business to Orange next year.

A France Telecom spokesman confirmed a review was ongoing as 'part of a rationalisation process of agencies', but declined to comment on whether Mother was involved. He added that it is a key phase 'of the global rebranding of France Telecom's mobile, internet and broadband offer to Orange'.

An agency shortlist will be drawn up early next year, with TBWA tipped as a frontrunner.

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