WEEKLY WEB WATCH: Orange is the only fruit for French giant

Organisation: Orange

Organisation: Orange

Issue: Takeover by France Telecom

At: www.orange.co.uk

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

next-generation services.

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.

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