One 2 One plans branding update

MERCURY PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS is planning a brand overhaul of the One 2 One mobile phone network prior to its anticipated flotation or sale later this year.

The mobile telecoms network is expected to appoint a design consultancy this week to undertake the review, after inviting a number of consultancies to pitch for the work earlier this year.

A One 2 One spokeswoman declines to reveal details of the project. “We are not going public on that yet… we will be making an announcement soon,” she says. She declines to name the consultancies on the One 2 One roster.

The rethink comes at a time when the network is widely reported to be in preparation for a stock market flotation or trade sale. It is expected to involve refreshing everything except the One 2 One logo created by The Identica Partnership in 1995.

The overhaul could be seen as an attempt to counter relatively poor sales. One 2 One signed up fewer subscribers in the first quarter of 1999 than its main competitors Vodafone, Cellnet and Orange.

Some hint at the repositioning might come from One 2 One’s announcement this week that it is to lower its tariffs substantially at the end of this month, in a move to underline its position as the network of value. All customers will get a reduced 10p per minute peak call rate, and a 2p per minute off peak rate, across the UK, even if they are pre-paying subscribers.

The original One 2 One identity was created by Jones Knowles Ritchie in 1994. Owned jointly by Cable and Wireless and US cable group MediaOne, under the guise of Mercury Personal Communications, One 2 One is valued at between 8bn and 11bn, and has 2.2 million subscribers.

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