O2 in 'undiscovered talent' foray

Mobile phone firm O2 is to link its brand with unsigned musicians via a talent contest called Undiscovered.

The venture increases O2's links with the music world and is being promoted by boutique agency Mission Media. The company wants to capitalise on youngsters' increasing interest in live music via the contest, billed as a 'national search that will unearth new music talent'.

Undiscovered 'does not want to make the winners instantly famous' but will 'identify and develop' their creativity through a bursary and advice from judges such as Polydor head of A&R Simon Gavin and music promoter Vince Power.

Entrants had four weeks from Wednesday's launch (8 March) in London's Covent Garden to submit demos. Ten shortlisted finalists will then scrap it out until the winner is selected.

The winner will get studio time to record a track, which will be released digitally, plus a spot on the bill of the O2 Wireless Festival in June.

Members of the public will be able to sign up to Undiscovered 'alerts' via the company's website.

The account is being run at Mission Media by consultant James Davies, who has the specific remit to bag business in the music publicity area. Davies has formerly worked at agencies including Barbara Charone's MBC, where he aided acts including Martha and Rufus Wainwright.

O2's use of Mission Media does not affect its ongoing relationship with retained adviser Cohn & Wolfe. The company used Mission
Media to promote its Mobile Model Search venture.

In a similar move, Vodafone last week enlisted Shine Communications to create  consumer interest in its 'TBA' secret-location gigs (PRWeek, 3 March).

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