Bohemia takes $22.5m Vodafone buying business from Ikon

Vodafone 'Kidults'

Vodafone ‘Kidults’

Independent media agency Bohemia has taken the rest of the Vodafone business from Ikon Communications which has held the account for nine years, Mumbrella can reveal.

The move sees Bohemia, run by former Ikon staffers Brett Dawson and Chris Christofi, seal the buying side of the business estimated to be worth $22.5m last year and after landing the strategy side of the business in 2012.

Vodafone has also “reshuffled” its creative roster dropping OgilvyOne from its customer communication strategy role, but retaining Ogilvy & Mather, which created the ‘Kidults’ campaign in September in a bid to reinvigorate Vodafone, as its lead agency.

It is a blow for Ikon boss James Greet who was installed in place of former CEO Dan Johns after he and several of the senior management team departed abruptly in March.

The agency managed to successfully retain Myer after a competitive pitch earlier this year, but now faces a battle to retain another significant client Coca-Cola which announced a tender in November.

Vodafone is now easily the largest client for Bohemia, which was named second in The Media Agency Review in November, and boasts a roster of Aspen Pharmaceuticals, Travel Insurance Direct and Health Direct Australia with billings of around $115m.

Dawson was unable to comment on the move this morning, but it will see a significant expansion of the business, which currently has around 40 staff, to cope with the new workload.

A spokewoman for Vodafone told Mumbrella: “We had been with Ikon for nine years we have been really pleased but we are just shuffling things around.

“We are not appointing anyone instead we are just reshuffling the workload in the family and Bohemia is in the family and taking on more responsibility.”

They added in a statement:

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Ikon team for their dedication to our business over the last nine years. We will continue to work with other agencies within the STW group and look forward to working more closely with Bohemia in particular to consolidate our media activities and give Bohemia the opportunity to build on the strategic functions they are currently providing us with.

STW Group’s director of media Simon White founded Ikon in 2000 before selling it to the marketing services group in 2010 and stepped back from the business.

He used money from that sale, as well as seed funds from STW, to start Bohemia in 2011, and landed the chairman role at STW in March this year when Ikon’s senior management was dumped.

Ikon has declined to comment on what the loss means for the agency, and has refused to comment on whether it will lead to redundancies.

Nic Christensen and Alex Hayes


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