Vodafone globally aligns with WPP, hands creative to JWT

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 14 March 2017

Vodafone has further consolidated its relationship with WPP AUNZ, naming JWT as its creative agency three months after moving the account from Cummins&Partners.

The move follows Vodafone's shift of its media account to GroupM from Bohemia and news it would axe its CMO role, merging its sales and marketing team.

Ben McIntosh, who now leads the new division at Vodafone as its consumer business director, assures the appointment is for the "long-term", despite the appointment marking the telco's fifth creative partner in six years.

Many suspected the account would move back to WPP. It was previously held by Ogilvy but moved after the controversial Kidults work. Cummins&Partners declined to repitch for the business. JWT previously held the account back in 2003. 

“We have selected JWT via our long-term relationship with WPP as Vodafone’s full service marketing communications agency,” McIntosh says.

“We believe JWT has brought together a formidable team that will help position Vodafone as a real alternative in the telecommunications market.”

According to McIntosh, bringing the key marketing disciplines closer together under the WPP AUNZ umbrella is an opportunity for the company to streamline and simplify its local marketing operations.

“Having everything housed under WPP provides the added benefit of enabling us to coordinate our efforts to be more agile, responsive and smart in our approach to reaching customers, consumers and businesses,” he says.

WPP AUNZ CEO Mike Connaghan said that the shift to a tighter, more integrated agency model is about enabling Vodafone to work seamlessly across the WPP AUNZ group.

“This is a great example of our strategy in action. It’s about bringing together the best people and thinking from across our group to create better, smarter ideas to grow their business”.

JWT, will tap into CX expertise from digital agency Webling, will work across the entire communications spectrum including brand and retail comms, CVM, social and CX/UX.

JWT MD Jenny Willits says the agency was thrilled to add Vodafone to its client roster and become the latest market to be part of WPP and Vodafone’s global relationship.

“It’s an exciting time to be leading the creative focus for Vodafone. With new teams on both the client and agency side, plus the opportunity to extend our working relationship with our sister agency MEC, we believe our collective teams are truly set up for success and will drive growth for the Vodafone brand," Willits says.

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