MEDIA: What The Papers Say - Oftel blames us for getting our wires crossed

Former Oftel director Don Cruickshank’s 1995 statement that ’you will not have to change your number again in your lifetime’ proved to be a hollow promise as the telephone industry watchdog shouldered the blame for mis-communicating the new area code changes. A few articles, notably in the Sunday Express (23/4), erroneously pointed the finger at BT for making the decision to change numbers, but current Oftel chief David Edmonds, ’with the greatest respect’, blamed Londoners for the bank holiday confusion by not reading the publicity material.

Former Oftel director Don Cruickshank’s 1995 statement that ’you

will not have to change your number again in your lifetime’ proved to be

a hollow promise as the telephone industry watchdog shouldered the blame

for mis-communicating the new area code changes. A few articles, notably

in the Sunday Express (23/4), erroneously pointed the finger at BT for

making the decision to change numbers, but current Oftel chief David

Edmonds, ’with the greatest respect’, blamed Londoners for the bank

holiday confusion by not reading the publicity material.



Despite having a two-year period to inform phone users, Oftel admitted

that the PR campaign underlying the pounds 20 million ad campaign had

’made people aware of their new numbers...but not really managed to

explain the bigger picture’. Whether Oftel timed the change over the

Easter weekend to minimise impact or to reduce criticism, they should

now be in a position to take advantage of the window of opportunity

before the next changes - to mobile phones and pagers in April 2001.





Analysis and commentary by Echo Research.



Cuttings by Durrants. More information can be found at:

www.echoResearch.com.



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