Orange and T-Mobile hire for hi-tech phone battle

Two of the biggest mobile networks - Orange and T-Mobile - have strengthened their PR armoury at the start of a year in which phones are expected to challenge iPod's MP3 supremacy, with 3G also finally becoming a staple medium.

Golin Harris saw off competition from Nelson Bostock Communications and Jackie Cooper PR to secure Orange's consumer brief, which will also include some corporate work.

The agency is briefed to target groups such as students, high-flyers and first-jobbers, replacing Orange's broader approach to brand promotion.

Orange will outsource some press office work to GH, which will work alongside M&C Saatchi Sponsorship, Orange's recently appointed sponsorship agency (PRWeek, 24 Nov 2005).

The agency will promote Orange's presence at European trade shows, reporting to Orange senior PR manager Jayne Hutchinson and head of UK media relations Stuart Jackson.

'Our previous arrangement with many niche agencies took up too much in-house time,' said Hutchinson.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile has brought in Brands2Life as its retained consumer agency.

The company has just appointed a new UK MD, US national Jim Hyde, who started this month and is charged with reinvigorating the T-Mobile brand. Priorities include the promotion of its Web'n'Walk internet service.

Brands2Life pitched against Brazen PR, Firefly Communications and one other agency to land the newly created retained account.

It already handles T-Mobile's B2B work and has previously handled consumer projects.

Brazen continues to handle consumer projects for T-Mobile, while events specialist Amazing promotes its'street gigs'.

Vodafone has shortlisted Shine Communications, Cow PR, Borkowski PR and one other, unknown agency to pitch for a programme of music-related events, writes Sarah Robertson.

The contract runs from February to the year's end. Borkowski's Vodafone consumer brief is unaffected.

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