BT has finally kicked off a review of the direct marketing business for both its own brand and mobile firm EE as part of its plan to slash £400m in costs over the next four years by merging many of the two companies’ operations.
The review has been on the cards ever since the proposed takeover was first announced in February last year and comes nearly eight months after the deal was given regulatory approval.
EE’s direct marketing account is handled by Publicis Chemistry, and is by far its largest client. The agency picked up the combined Orange and T-Mobile account in 2012 when EE was formed but was forced to make a raft of senior job cuts in February 2014 when the mobile giant slashed its budget.
McCann Enterprise picked up the B2B account six months later, after Publicis Chemistry declined to repitch for what is a relatively small piece of business.
The majority of digital activity is handled by Poke, with Dare also working on some elements of the account and Saatchi & Saatchi running the advertising.
Although obviously still too early to say how it will pan out, BT’s DM agency OgilvyOne will be pulling out all the stops to retain the lion’s share. AMV and its subsidiaries handle both the digital and ad business.
However, one industry insider reckons whatever the outcome of the review, all agencies will be counting the cost: “BT chiefs are holding all the cards. They know the agencies can’t afford to lose either part of the business. The winning agencies will be expecting to drop their trousers to retain the work.”
BT has retained both media agencies, with Maxus, which handled BT and and MEC, which runs EE both reappointed. The agencies are setting up a bespoke unit called Team Connect to service the account.
Communisis continues to handle the marketing print work for both brands.
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