BBH Wins Vodafone U.K.

NEW YORK Bartle Bogle Hegarty has landed U.K. ad duties on Vodafone after a roster shop shootout against incumbent JWT, BBH has confirmed.

Estimated account revenue is $4-5 million. In the U.K., Vodafone spends more than $90 million annually in measured media.

Going into the pitch, BBH in London handled lead global brand image duties and JWT created local ads on a market-by-market basis. WPP Group’s JWT remains on the roster for some 20 markets outside the U.K., but has lost a significant chunk of business. The U.K. is among Vodafone’s largest ad markets.

David Wheldon, Vodafone’s global director of brand and customer experience, has reaffirmed JWT’s status as a “network partner,” and the shop recently scored ad duties in Turkey, a fast-growing market.

BBH, which is 49 percent owned by Publicis Groupe, joined the Vodafone roster in late 2004 and subsequently replaced Wieden + Kennedy as lead global agency. JWT has worked for the U.K.-based telecommunications giant since 2002.

BBH managing director Ben Fennell led the shop’s winning pitch and will oversee the account. Mick Mahoney, a creative director who also works on Unilever, will helm Vodafone creative efforts.

Fennell described the new account as a “significant creative opportunity” in the agency and client’s home market. The wireless phone services provider has some 187 million subscribers worldwide, second only to China Mobile.

Collectively, the global and U.K. assignments make Vodafone one the largest clients at BBH in London. In addition to Unilever, BBH also works for British Airways, Diageo and Levi’s.