3 set to stir up market with UK account pitch

Mobile company 3 is putting its UK consumer account out to pitch as part of a complete rethink of its marketing communications

The company will be inviting credentials in the next couple of weeks, before drawing up a shortlist. It has used Lexis PR for the past three years, and the agency will automatically be included on the shortlist.

3’s director of corporate communications Hugh ­Davies, who is leading the pitch process, said the company wanted to shake up the telecoms market.

‘We thought it was a good time to take a serious look at the market and our consumer PR,’ he said. ‘We have ­refreshed our priorities.’

He added: ‘As an agency, you are either a brief taker or a brief maker. We want an agency to keep us doing new things to keep us at the front of our customer’s minds.’

3 took on a new integrated communications agency, Euro RSCG, at the end of last month, and this month hired a new integrated communications director, Alan Doyle.

Incumbent Lexis PR lan­ded Nokia’s UK account last week (PRWeek, 15 June).

Davies insisted there was no conflict with the two ­accounts and said the review process had kicked off before Lexis’s win.

3 UK also uses Slice and Frank on events and project work, Parys Communications for its B2B work and Brunswick for corporate PR. These agencies will not be ­affected by the review.

John Penberthy-Smith, marketing director of 3 UK, said: ‘3 is a challenger brand. We want to challenge the norms in the world of communications, as we set out to do in the world of telecoms and media.’

3 UK was established when the government awar­ded it the largest of five ­licences in May 2000 to run third-generation wireless services. It launched the UK’s first video mobile network in 2003.

Despite a shaky start, the network now has over four million customers in the UK and 15 million worldwide.

It is now also the largest 3G network in the UK and Europe.

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