According to a global alignment reported in international media, the media duties for telecom major Vodafone have shifted from Maxus to Optimum Media Direction (OMD). The decision will apply across 20 markets, including India.
The pitch, which was called for three months ago, and the account has been won by Team Vodafone of WPP (for Europe, West Asia and Africa) and Carat (in the UK). Carat won the business in January this year from OMD.
In India, too, the account transition from Maxus to OMD will happen over the next few months, as per a Vodafone spokesperson. In India, the advertising spends for the brand is pegged at Rs 300 crore.
The media duties in India have been held by GroupM's agency, Maxus, for eight years now. Earlier, it lay with the media function of Ogilvy. Ogilvy (then Ogilvy & Mather) has been the creative custodian for the brand for 10 years.
The story began in 1999 with Orange. Ogilvy was allotted the creative and media duties - at that time, the media and creative set-up existed together. In 2001, GroupM got two media agencies under its banner - Mindshare (predominantly for JWT's clients) and Maximise (now Maxus), largely for Ogilvy's and Contract's clients. Maximise got to handle the media duties for Vodafone.
In 2003, Maximise was rechristened Maxus, and the following year, Orange became Hutch. In 2007, Hutch became Vodafone.
Some of the landmarks that Maxus was able to achieve in terms of using the media innovatively for the brand include the tagline of the radio station, Radio Mirchi, being changed from 'It's Hot' to 'It's Pink' when Orange transformed to Hutch.
Another significant piece in the series of the media innovations for the brand by the agency included the 24-hour road block on all STAR channels, which was taken up in 2007 on the occasion of Hutch switching identities yet again to become Vodafone.