O2 head of corporate comms William Ostrom said the company will this week filter credentials down to a shortlist of agencies to take part in a formal pitch process for the mobile network's combined corporate and consumer brief.
The process of appointing an agency should be concluded within six weeks.
He said the firm was putting together a more detailed brief against which agencies will be judged. Ostrom added that the measure was aimed at ensuring 'as few (agencies) as possible' were called in to the formal pitch process.
Jackie Cooper PR was hired earlier this year to oversee the European consumer launch of O2 (PRWeek, 8 March). It is believed that O2 has halved its UK PR spending to around £800,000 this year.
The ongoing search for an agency follows the appointment of former BTCellnet's consumer agency MacLaurin to handle publicity surrounding the network's sponsorship of the forthcoming third series of Channel 4's Big Brother.
O2 is to be the sole sponsor of the reality TV show, following its endorsement last year when the firm was BT Cellnet.