Edelman clinches O2 consumer job

Demerged mobile phone operator O2, formerly BTCellnet, has concluded its review of its UK PR by handing Edelman Public Relations Worldwide responsibility for its consumer work.

It is understood that the agency, which already works for O2 online in the UK - formerly known as Genie - was approached to put forward suggestions for the consumer product launch of the O2 mobile brand in the UK.

The review was instigated by head of corporate communications for the brand William Ostrom last month (PRWeek, 8 March). The company was determined to reduce its roster of MacLaurin and Fishburn Hedges to a single agency for the launch of the brand.

It is understood that both MacLaurin and FH will continue to work with the firm in some capacity. MacLaurin founder Brian MacLaurin confirmed it would not now be leading the consumer launch: 'We have received notification that this is the case.'

Edelman UK CEO John Mahony said the agency had been preparing plans for the UK launch of the brand for a number of weeks, and tied up details in the past week. He added that Edelman already acts as agency of record for the brand, and was specifically looking at the launch of the O2 brand rather than ongoing consumer PR work on this side of the business.

Ostrom indicated last month that the O2 brand is looking to spend around £800,000 on PR this year, following a 50 per cent cut in its PR budget.

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