Nervous times for Saatchi and Fallon as Everything Everywhere boss Olaf Swantee wields the axe

Everything Everywhere is the baffling moniker for France Telecom’s newly-merged Orange and T-Mobile businesses in the UK and new CEO Olaf Swantee is wielding the axe, cutting the company’s board down from an unwieldly 26 to 11 and reviewing absolutely everything, everywhere.

EE is by far the UK’s biggest mobile operator now with about 27 million customers but profit growth is sluggish verging on non-existent.

One of the tasks facing the company’s gaggle of marketers, Gerry McQuade, Pippa Dunn and brand boss Steven Day will be to decide what to do about its advertising. Presumably its handsets and services will be branded Everything Everywhere soon (provided there’s enough room on the pack) or a choice will be made between Orange and T-Mobile. In which case, why have Everything Everywhere….

Once this has been resolved the company will have to decide how much to spend on advertising and with whom.

At the moment Orange’s £43m is spent with Fallon while T-Mobile spends £42m with senior sibling Saatchi & Saatchi (the two Publicis Groupe-owned agencies operate as a kind of coalition in the UK).

It’s hardly likely that EE (or whatever the brand is to be called) will just lump the two together and spend £85m. It’s also possible that the outbreak of new brooms will decide to call a pitch for the new account.

None of which is particularly good news for the two incumbent agencies.

Of the two Saatchi has probably won more spurs with its work for T-Mobile, including Chris Palmer’s wonderful Royal Wedding ad for Gorgeous.

Orange has struggled for years to come up with anything as good as the WCRS ‘the future’s bright, the future’s Orange,’ campaign but Fallon has had its moments since winning the account from Mother.

And mobile companies in the UK are notoriously twitchy with their agency arrangements, the daddy of them all in this regard being Vodafone which has just shunted its account to RKCR/Y&R from Bartle Bogle Hegarty in an exclusive WPP agency pitch.

Vodafone spends £47m in the UK which is a good enough steer for EE’s likely budget.

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