Orange stages consumer pitch for female book prize

Orange is pitching consumer PR for its sponsorship of its annual

Prize for Fiction.



The mobile phone giant is understood to have whittled its search down to

a final two agencies for the brief, but no decision is expected until

next week.



An Orange spokesman confirmed a review had taken place for the fiction

account, and that agencies were consulted, but refused to divulge any

further details.



The account has been handled by MacLaurin since its acquisition of

inaugural account-holders Powerhouse in 1997, but it is not known

whether MacLaurin is taking part in the current pitch.



During the past five years Orange has radically stepped up its

sponsorship commitments, and the PR handling around them.



Earlier this month Orange appointed Karen Earl Associates to handle

publicity for its sponsorship of rugby union's Heineken Cup and Parker

Pen Shield, commencing next season (PRWeek, 2 November).



In January, the telecoms giant hired Cohn & Wolfe to promote its £70m sponsorship of the Arrows Formula 1 motor racing team (PRWeek, 26

January).



The Orange Prize for Fiction was created in 1996 to address the

perceived dearth of female-written books being shortlisted for the more

established literary awards.



Last year the £30,000 prize was won by Australian novelist Kate

Grenville for her book The Idea of Perfection. Previous winners of the

award include Helen Dunmore, Suzanne Berne and Linda Grant.



The awards generated a great deal of publicity last year when a jury

compiled of men was chosen to shadow the awards' all-female jury. The

results were aimed at highlighting the impact of gender on attitudes to

reading - only Grenville's book made it onto both shortlists.



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