EE sell-off triggers agency alarm bells

EE sell-off triggers agency alarm bellsThe bosses of EE’s direct, digital and ad agencies will have an anxious few months following the £12.5bn BT buy-out, even though BT boss Gavin Patterson has pledged to keep hold of the EE brand “in the short-term”.
The takeover still needs regulatory approval – not a formality by any means – but is likely to lead to a huge consolidation of marketing accounts as BT seeks what are known in the trade as “operational efficiences”.
The company says that within four years, the deal will be saving it £360m a year in terms of operating costs and capital investment.
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 last year when the mobile giant slashed its budget.
McCann Enterprise picked up the B2B account six months later, after Publicis Chemistry declined to repitch.
The majority of digital activity is handled by Poke, with Dare also working on some elements of the account. Saatchi & Saatchi runs the advertising, while MEC handles media.
Although obviously still too early to say who will benefit from the move, BT’s agencies are likely to be in pole position; its DM account is run by OgilvyOne, while AMV and its subsidiaries handle both the digital and ad business and Manning Gottlieb OMD holds the media account.
One company which may not be too worrried, however, is Communisis, which handles the marketing print work for both brands.
In a prepared statement BT said: “The combination of EE and BT will provide customers with innovative, seamless services that combine the power of fibre broadband with wi-fi and advanced mobile capabilities.”

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