02 cuts ties with C&W in relationship review

Communications giant O2 is embarking on a fundamental review of its agency relationships, starting with the termination of its contract with four-year incumbent Cohn & Wolfe.

C&W currently works on O2’s brand PR. O2 has also appointed a variety of other agencies for projects in recent years, including Amazing Media for last year’s O2-sponsored Wireless Festival.

It is not yet clear how much of this business will be outsourced to an agency in the future, although O2 director of comms Glenn Manoff told PRWeek that he intends to put at least part of his department’s activities out to pitch.

Manoff added: ‘In the last four years our industry, the communications industry and the media have changed dramatically. We felt it was time for a fresh look at our communications. We want to continue to lead, to be relevant and fit for purpose.’

Claire Mann, director at C&W, said: ‘We’ve had a very successful four-year relationship with O2. The decision to split was mutual.’ The business has been one of C&W’s most high-profile accounts.

O2 last week delayed the launch of its broadband offering until September. It is understood that this is to avoid the kind of technical problems experienced by Carphone Warehouse. The firm unveiled revenues in its mobile business for the three months to 31 March of £1.2bn – a ten per cent increase on the same period in 2006.

O2 bought broadband firm Be last year for £50m and was itself bought by Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica in 2006 for £17.7bn.

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