Freud Declines To Defend Vodafone UK PR Remit
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Freud Declines To Defend Vodafone UK PR Remit

Vodafone is reviewing UK PR duties, with incumbent firm Freud Communications opting not to defend its hold on the six-figure assignment.

Arun Sudhaman

LONDON—Vodafone is reviewing UK PR duties, with incumbent firm Freud Communications opting not to defend its hold on the six-figure assignment.

The Holmes Report understands that the mobile network has briefed three firms — Burson-Marsteller, Cohn & Wolfe and Ogilvy — regarding the brief, which covers consumer and corporate communication.

Freud parts ways with Vodafone after handling the remit since 2011.

The review is not thought to affect Vodafone's other agency relationships. The company works with Ideas Network on product PR in the UK while Tavistock provides corporate support. 

Maitland handles financial comms at a group level. Globally, Vodafone works with Text 100 and Ogilvy on B2B and consumer, respectively, out of London.

The UK review follows the arrival of new external comms head Patrick Toyne-Sewell last month. The former G4S corporate affairs director confirmed the review, noting that Vodafone is seeking "integrated consumer and corporate PR support."

"We are disappointed that Freuds is not taking part in the process after a successful three-year relationship but understand their reasons for doing so," he added. "The process is now well underway and we expect it to complete shortly."

Sources familiar with the situation noted that the review comes after an overhaul of Vodafone's UK comms management. Corporate communications director Christian Cull exited the company at the start of this year, with Helen Lamprell expanding her responsibilities as corporate and external affairs director. 

Vodafone is the UK's third largest mobile network in terms of subscribers, behind EE and O2. The company's mobile service revenue in the country ties for second with O2, and is set to be boosted by a $1.7bn cash injection.

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