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News Plus 3 May 2021 - 2 min read

Telstra's Belong pitches $30m media account, denies testing market for master brand review

By Josh McDonnell - Senior Writer

Belong will pitch its $30m media account, currently held by OMD. It is understood the agency will defend against agencies from GroupM and Publicis.

Belong, Telstra's low-cost internet and mobile brand, is pitching its $30m media account. Telstra confirmed the pitch but those close to the business denied that the pitch represents a "test run" before opening up the master brand's media account for review.

What you need to know:

  • Telstra's challenger internet and mobile brand Belong is pitching its $30m media account.
  • Mi3 understands GroupM, Publicis and incumbent Omnicom are involved.
  • Sources close to the pitch deny it is a "test run" for Telstra before it reviews its master brand account.

Strong signal?

Belong, Telstra's low-cost mobile and internet challenger brand, is pitching its media account, believed to be worth close to $30m in billings.

A spokesperson for the telco confirmed the pitch but would not comment on the list of agencies involved, which is understood to be comprised of the incumbent OMD, plus agencies owned by Publicis and GroupM.

Market speculation has it that the pitch may act as a "test run" for Telstra ahead of a review of its main media account.

Sources close to the pitch denied any notion of a wider pitch, adding that the business operates independently from the Telstra business despite its ownership.

While mainly known for its budget internet business, Belong also entered the mobile phone market in 2018, with a brand campaign conducted by OMD's creative stablemate Clemenger.

The sector has seen several entrants ramp up their marketing investment over the course of the last 12 months, including Amaysim and Felix Mobile, the first venture since the TPG/Vodafone merger (with This is Flow appointed to media duties).

It is also understood the pitch will focus heavily on data, tech and customer experience capabilities.

This is in line with Telstra's current T22 strategic overhaul, which has a split focus on driving efficiencies through the business but also streamlining its customer databases and product offerings.

Last week, Telstra CMO Jeremy Nicholas explained the telco has also upped its personalisation efforts since implementing Salesforce.

He said the business has been able to develop personalised, first party data-led campaigns that can be suppressed or turned up based on a complete user profile – and that these are starting to pay dividends.

However, Telstra Digital Executive Director, Jenni Barnett, also warned last week that marketers should beware of martech vendors that claim they can deliver all things to all customers.

"I don’t think any of the big tech vendors can do absolutely everything," she told Mi3.


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