Wednesday, March 08, 2006

French stitch-up

It's best never to write about the opposition, but I saw a headline this morning about France Telecom's £200m with the words 'French Stitch-up' in the headline and really couldn't resist.

If you cast your mind back to last Friday when we covered this story, you'll remember that after much searching, the French telecoms giant handed its business Publicis Groupe and Havas agencies.

A stitch-up? Is the Pope a Catholic (actually I'm not entirely sure, but I do know what he has on his iPod).

Of course it was, really surely no one really expected otherwise. In France that's how business is done. It's not a bad thing, but the French way of doing things.

Isn't that why British group WPP gave up the ghost on the pitch, seeing how it was likely to go, and pulled out, citing reasons of client conflict.

'French Stitch-up' was in this morning's Marketing Week in case you were wondering, and goes on to quote some angry, but of course unnamed, executives at Orange who are unhappy.

The story finishes with a spokesman for France Telecom putting fears at rest by denying the French stitch-up claims and pointing out that the pitch was conducted in English. Well, that's all right then.

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