Vodafone Stays With The Devil They Know
Vodafone initally called a pitch mid last last year which according to mUmBRELLA initially involved incumbent Ikon, PHD and Universal McCann.
However, the pitch was suspended in February when Vodafone agreed to merge with 3, in what has become Vodafone Hutchinson Australia.
Mitchells – which does the media buying for 3 – then entered the fray, despite also doing the buying for Optus and subsidiary brand Virgin Mobile through sister media agency MPG.
It appeared that chairman Harold Mitchell had done a handshake deal with VHA boss Nigel Dews.
But Mumbrella understands that earlier this week, Optus stepped into the debate and Mitchells withdrew, putting the account back in the hands of Ikon, along with that of 3.
In ann offical Vodafone Hutchison Australia media statement the Company said that the appointment of Ikon Communications as its exclusive media agency responsible for managing the combined, national media account for the Vodafone and 3 brands would be ongoing.
“The decision to appoint Ikon to represent both VHA brands is expected to result in improved cost efficiencies.” John Casey, Director of Marketing at VHA, said: “We’re delighted to announce Ikon’s account win. The agency has represented Vodafone’s media interests since 2001 and we are looking forward to continuing this successful relationship with Vodafone Hutchison Australia.”
Update: Mitchells says that it resigned the account. It issued a statement saying:
“Mitchell and Partners announced today that they are resigning the Hutchison 3 account due to conflict with Optus. Mitchell’s have handled media planning and buying for Hutchison for more than 8 years.”
Mitchells CEO Stuart Mitchell said: “It’s a great shame that we had to make this move. The telecommunications sector will be highly competitive in the period ahead and this decision was unavoidable. Hutchison has been a fantastic client over the years.”