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Mobile network Orange calls Lowe

[london] U.K.-based digital mobile phone network Orange shifted its account to Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, ending its six-year relationship with WCRS. The estimated $40 million account is expected to reach $90 million next year following France Telecom's acquisition of the network in June. "As a result of the France Telecom acquisition, Orange has become Europe's No. 2 mobile operator. Going forward, this means that we have to focus ourselves globally. We have publicly stated our intention to be in at least 50 countries by 2005, and to be the first truly global wire-free communications brand. It's therefore logical to appoint an agency with a network of offices and expertise that can deliver our brand, vision and values on a global scale," said Bob Fuller, chief operating officer at Orange.

MSN taps McCann for Asian work

[singapore] Microsoft Network awarded some of its regional business to McCann-Erickson Worldwide here. McCann already handled MSN's global business from the U.S. The regional business will encompass Singapore and Hong Kong, although demarcation of local, regional and global business is not clear-cut due to MSN's fairly decentralized structure in the region. "There is a lot of synergy between the global work coming out of the U.S. and the account McCann Singapore has won," said MSN Regional Marketing Director Rose Leng in Hong Kong. A senior marketing executive at the company said MSN is seeking to invest $100 million in the Asia-Pacific, but could not say how much of that would be spent on advertising.

Burnett snares Autobytel in Australia

[sydney] U.S.-based online car buying service Autobytel awarded its Australian launch business to Leo Burnett here, following a three-way pitch against Euro RSCG and Forster Nunn Lovender. The site (autobytel.com.au) is scheduled to launch in September and will be managed by Autobytel Australia, a private joint venture company. A multimedia campaign will break in October. Outside the U.S., Autobytel already has set up online car buying services in Canada, Japan and Sweden. In 1999, the company generated more than $13 billion in car sales.

Y&R's Digital Edge expands

[london] Young & Rubicam's Media Edge rolled out its Digital Edge media operation across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The expansion of Digital Edge, already operating in the U.S., is aimed at serving Y&R's growing list of online clients in the region including Andersen Consulting, Chanel, Danone, Ericsson, HarperCollins and United International Pictures. Brad Fairhead, previously account director for the Media Edge's Ericsson and Andersen Consulting accounts across Europe, will head the digital division. He will be supported by specialist teams in Amsterdam, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Milan and Stockholm.

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