Issue: Takeover by France Telecom
Orange’s web site demonstrates that it is possible to overcome the
challenge of controlling the release of price sensitive commercial
information while simultaneously making sure that the company web site
is up to date. The confirmation that Vodaphone’s temporary custody of
Orange was coming to an end just weeks after it bought Orange’s parent
company Mannesmann had Orange and new owner France Telecom shouting from
the virtual rooftops.
Just hours after the announcement, the media centre worked with web
designers to ensure that Orange’s home page was replaced with a page
showing France Telecom and Orange logos, with the message that, added
together, they equal ’leading global wirefree business’. This is spelled
out even more clearly by the statement ’France Telecom to acquire
The invitation to find out more leads to a long statement - literally
spelt out in black and white - about the finer points of the deal and
the French company’s plans for the new addition to its family.
This is a shorter version of the comprehensive release available on the
France Telecom web site (www.francetelecom.com). It covers the
implications of the deal for both companies and spells out their vision
of a wirefree future. It also unveils New Orange - the entity to be
created by combining Orange with France Telecom’s existing wirefree
After this outburst, the rest of the Orange site is fairly
It looks great, in the trademark orange, black and white. The mobile
phone product range is covered , as well as how to buy an Orange phone,
financial information and contacts at the company are listed, there is a
news section, and you can register for web messaging and other
There is also a mechanism for checking by postcode area how good the
network coverage is across the UK .
France Telecom is slightly more subtle in its approach to covering the
deal on its web site, and the deal is not flagged up on the
However, the press release is only a click away, via the homepage
’What’s in the news?’ prompt. The France Telecom home page is in French
but the international version, in English, is easily accessed through
the ’Visit our international site’ message.
Vodaphone’s site (www.vodaphone.co.uk) was still saying nothing about
the sell-off of its brief subsidiary as PR Week went to press.