CAMPAIGNS: Bright future secured with Orange offer - Financial PR

Client: Orange



PR Team: Orange Media Centre; France Telecom Media Centre; Citigate



Dewe Rogerson



Campaign: Orange Share Offer



Timescale: Jan - Feb 2001



Budget: Undisclosed



Run across four countries in difficult market conditions and against a

backcloth of extensive corporate change, the Orange Share Offer was both

large and complex.



Orange has one of Britain's best-known brands and is the UK's fastest

growing mobile phone service. Orange plc was acquired by Mannesman at

the end of 1999, then by Vodafone in early 2000, and at the end of May

2000, by France Telecom (FT).



The acquisition was followed by the merger of FT's other mobile

interests with Orange plc, and the greatly enlarged Orange Group was

formed in December 2000.



The Orange Share Offer was the largest-ever European corporate IPO, and

boasted simultaneous listings in Paris and London. The telecoms sector

had suffered from a lack of investor enthusiasm following the early

third-generation licence fees and during the offer period technology

stocks were regularly marked down.



In addition, the brand was unknown in three of the four countries in

which the offer was marketed.



Objectives



To attract substantial over-demand from both retail and institutional

investors, and to protect and build the Orange brand in the UK while

introducing the brand abroad, particularly in France. To co-ordinate the

marketing programmes across four countries while complying with

different regulatory regimes.



Strategy and Plan



A corporate and brand-led campaign and not a traditional mass market

flotation was deemed appropriate as the investment climate was wrong for

a traditional mass-marketed float. Information, not persuasion was the

key phrase, and, as in its first flotation, Orange would set out its

stall and let investors decide if they wished to share in its

future.



'Orangeprint for the future' was devised as the campaign theme and

executed across every communication element - from envelopes to ads.



The communications involved media relations, analyst relations, investor

presentations and roadshows, TV, press and radio advertising; customer

mailings and literature, employee and intermediary communications.



Measurement and Evaluation



The campaign was planned and managed by an integrated team from Orange,

France Telecom and Citigate Dewe Rogerson.



Despite the stock suffering at flotation, due to the state of the

telecoms market and the media criticism this drew, it subsequently

recovered and Orange has since received positive coverage.



Print and broadcast coverage was extensive following the flotation

pre-marketing campaign. It was launched on 8 January with the formal

confirmation of intention to float at a London-based conference for UK,

French, German and Italian journalists.



As the investor roadshows started, market conditions continued to

worsen, but media endorsement remained strong until the offer

closed.



Results



The equity offer was oversubscribed 2.6 times. More than one million

individuals had registered for a prospectus, and more than 1.3 million

people applied for and received shares.



The Exchangeable Bond was eight times oversubscribed and France Telecom

received more than pounds 3.85bn of proceeds.



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