Cummins&Partners is firming up as the favourite to take the Vodafone creative account, and is understood to be the telco's preferred partner.
Vodafone and Cummins&Partners declined to comment but speculation is mounting that the agency's plans to open a Sydney shop, revealed by AdNews, are based on the need to service the Sydney based client.
JWT and McCann were also understood to be in the final running.
Vodafone called the pitch in June, with the pitch progressing in August, when it was understood that the pitch process had been narrowed to four agencies.
JWT, Whybin/TBWA and McCann were all said to be involved in the pitch along with Cummins&Partners, while the incumbent, STW-owned Vodafone's incumbent, Ogilvy, which created the controversial Kidult campaign, was not invited to repitch for the business.
The news of the agency appointment comes as Vodafone CMO Kim Clarke prepares to step down after two years in the role. Earlier this year, Jana Kotatko, also stepped down, leaving two of the top marketing and brand spots at Vodafone open.
Telstra and Optus both have senior marketing positions open following the news that Optus top marketer Nathan Rosenberg is heading overseas. Telstra is yet to fill the top marketing spot after former CMO Mark Buckman left to move to the UK. Telstra has handed the media portion of Buckman's former remit to Adam Good but the top marketing remit is still being decided.
Cummins&Partners' business wins this year consist of taking Specsavers from incumbent McCann in June and Tourism WA from five-year incumbent Host. It was also appointed to handle Adelaide United Football Club's strategy, creative and media.
Some in adland are pointing to the succession of agency partners Vodafone has worked with over recent years as a sign of possible difficulties any new agency partner may have working with the telco long-term.
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