LONDON--Vodafone Group has kicked off a multi-market review that aims to strengthen its enterprise PR support, amid the telecom giant’s £1bn bid for Cable & Wireless Worldwide.
The world’s largest mobile telecoms company has released a brief to a number of agencies, detailing PR requirements in the UK, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the US.
The review is being led by Nicola Rossi, who joined the company as head of enterprise and industry analyst communications earlier this year, and group comms director Matt Peacock.
"Vodafone Group has issued a request for proposals seeking global B2B agency support as it increases its focus on enterprise customers worldwide," said Rossi. "Vodafone has more than 30 million business customers globally, and enterprise accounts now generate a quarter of the group's service revenue."
Budgets are not disclosed, but a source involved in the process indicated substantial fees are likely, given the scope of the assignment. It is also unclear whether Vodafone intends to consolidate the markets with one agency or appoint firms on a separate basis.
Rossi said that Vodafone had approached "a number of the larger multinational agency networks with strong technology B2B credentials and established operations across Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and the US."
"Agencies working on behalf of the Vodafone UK operating company based in Newbury - including Six Degrees - are unaffected."
Vodafone’s CWW deal is widely viewed as an attempt to step up its fixed enterprise offering, giving the company access to CWW’s 425,000km international cable network. Among European and US telecoms providers, meanwhile, CWW leads the Asia-Pacific business fixed services market.
In particular, industry analysts have noted that enterprise and fixed services represent credible Vodafone growth opportunities, and that the acquisition would aid the company’s expansion among large enterprises. The deal remains subject to shareholder approval.
In the UK, Vodafone recently shifted its City PR account to Maitland from RLM Finsbury, and also works with Tavistock, Sunesis and Freud Communications. The company has also reshuffled its global comms team, which is now led by Peacock.
Last month, meanwhile, Vodafone kicked off a review of its Indian PR business, which is currently handled by 10-year incumbent Genesis Burson-Marsteller.