SAN FRANCISCO—McGrath/Power Public Relations has been named agency of record in the U.S. for Vodafone, one of the largest mobile telecommunications companies in Europe. The announcement came as Vodafone geared up for a major push into the U.S. market, partnering with software giant Microsoft to develop mobile web standards.
Revenues for the assignment were not disclosed, but McGrath/Power chief executive Jonathan Bloom described the win as “one of our biggest competitive victories.” As many as 15 other firms were invited to pitch, and according to industry sources other finalists included Access Communications, Text 100’s Bite Communications, and Peppercom.
Vodafone has 123 million customers in 26 countries and revenues in 2003 of $48 billion, but Bloom says the company “has little name recognition here in the U.S.” That will change, he says, “as they begin to partner with organizations to bring the same services to this market that they currently offer in Europe. They are going to be doing some exciting things in the convergence space and in the information technology space.”
McGrath/Power will be focused on business-to-business communications first, targeting companies that can embed Vodafone’s technology in their own products and ultimately reaching out to end-users.
“We were TiVo’s first agency and we have worked with Earthlink, so we have experience taking technology companies into new markets,” says Bloom. “When we started with TiVo, we had to convince the market to accept a new technology, and we think that experience will be very valuable in our work with Vodafone.”