Mobile phone operator Three has launched a review of its direct marketing account – worth about £2m a year in fees alone – with incumbent TBCH already losing the business.
The Omnicom agency has worked on the account since 2006, when it was called Claydon Heeley. Following a merger with US company Targetbase, it changed its name to Targetbase Claydon Heeley in 2008. This was shortened to just TBCH late last year.
The review, being run by AAR, covers all direct marketing activity, such as acquisition and ongoing communications to the brand’s customers. It is not known if direct response advertising is included, but Three is to handle some business in-house.
A Three spokesman said: “We are currently holding a review for a direct response creative agency and are working with AAR on this.”
Owned by Hutchison Whampoa, Three launched in the UK in 2003. In its most recent results, posted in February, the company said it had doubled its operating profit from £101m to £207m, with total revenue increasing 5% to £2bn.
It added 565,000 new customers in 2013, driven by a 12% increase in contract customers. The operator now has 7.9 million active customers. Following the phased launch of its 4G network, which started in December 2013, all of Three’s customers are now on a 4G tariff.
The UK mobile phone market is as competitive as ever; Three holds about 10%, Vodafone 26%, O2 30% and EE 34%. However, earlier this week the market leader was warned that it could face enforcement action from the Information Commissioner’s Office over complaints about bombarding customers with texts and sales calls.
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