News

Optus to part ways with media agency Starcom, UM set to take over $50m account

OptusOptus has appointed UM as its media agency, Mumbrella understands.

The move sees the major telco part ways with Starcom on the Optus and Virgin media accounts, worth some $50m.

Starcom announced it had parted ways with Optus this afternoon with the telco expected to make an announcement later this afternoon. 

The account move had been tipped for months, with UM beating out the incumbent and Havas Media to win the account. Optus/Virgin is Starcom’s largest client.

Starcom Mediavest CEO Chris Nolan, said, via statement: “We are extremely proud of the innovation and award-winning work achieved in partnership with Optus and Virgin Mobile over the last three years. Over the course of our relationship, Optus and Virgin Mobile have transformed the business from a sales organisation to a customer-centric, service and content business.”

A decision was expected before Christmas but it is believed the loss of Optus’s marketing boss Vicky Brady to rival Telstra in late December postponed the process.

Mumbrella revealed that Optus was pitching its creative and media accounts back in June, with a number of agencies thought to have been involved in the process. Fellow Singtel subsidiary Virgin Mobile confirmed it was jointly pitching its agency relationships in August, in what became the biggest pitch 2015.

UM has declined to comment.

Optus has been approached for comment but it is unclear at this stage if a decision has been made on the creative roster, which is also out to tender.

Nielsen estimates Optus’s media spend at $40m while Virgin is estimated at $10m.

The Starcom Mediavest announcement:

“After a three-year partnership with Starcom Mediavest Group, Optus and Virgin Mobile will leave the agency, effective April 2016.”

“SMG Australia CEO Chris Nolan, said: “We are extremely proud of the innovation and award-winning work achieved in partnership with Optus and Virgin Mobile over the last three years. Over the course of our relationship, Optus and Virgin Mobile have transformed the business from a sales organisation to a customer-centric, service and content business.”

Nolan continued: “Our teams created and delivered some truly outstanding, results-orientated and award-winning work. Some of the highlights included the global first Facebook trending initiative, strategic partnerships with Westfield, cNet and Nova Red Room, the development of the Local Area Marketing business model, and for Virgin Mobile Australia, integrated campaigns for Fair Go Bro, Meal for Meal and Game of Phones, one of the most awarded campaigns ever. We wish Optus and Virgin Mobile every success in the future.”

Nic Christensen 

ADVERTISEMENT

SUBSCRIBE

Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing