The company will be inviting credentials in the next couple of weeks, before drawing up a shortlist. It has used Lexis PR for the past three years, and the agency will automatically be included on the shortlist.
3’s director of corporate communications Hugh Davies, who is leading the pitch process, said the company wanted to shake up the telecoms market.
‘We thought it was a good time to take a serious look at the market and our consumer PR,’ he said. ‘We have refreshed our priorities.’
He added: ‘As an agency, you are either a brief taker or a brief maker. We want an agency to keep us doing new things to keep us at the front of our customer’s minds.’
3 took on a new integrated communications agency, Euro RSCG, at the end of last month, and this month hired a new integrated communications director, Alan Doyle.
Incumbent Lexis PR landed Nokia’s UK account last week (PRWeek, 15 June).
Davies insisted there was no conflict with the two accounts and said the review process had kicked off before Lexis’s win.
3 UK also uses Slice and Frank on events and project work, Parys Communications for its B2B work and Brunswick for corporate PR. These agencies will not be affected by the review.
John Penberthy-Smith, marketing director of 3 UK, said: ‘3 is a challenger brand. We want to challenge the norms in the world of communications, as we set out to do in the world of telecoms and media.’
3 UK was established when the government awarded it the largest of five licences in May 2000 to run third-generation wireless services. It launched the UK’s first video mobile network in 2003.
Despite a shaky start, the network now has over four million customers in the UK and 15 million worldwide.
It is now also the largest 3G network in the UK and Europe.