2degrees & Special wage (polite) war of words

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2degrees chose a novel route to announcing its sudden, unexpected departure from Special Group on Friday – the telco fired off a short, sharp, but carefully polite missive to media announcing its exit, and sparking a counter-PR strike from Special (which had won the account just months earlier).

Unlike most agency/client divorces, usually revealed in carefully crafted joint statements, this one came direct from the client, a move which itself carried a hint of rancour.

“Below is a brief statement from Roy Ong, 2degrees CMO, in relation to our creative/brand needs,” read the email from corporate comms head Lenska Papich.

“2degrees is reassessing our creative/brand needs and as a result we will be ending our relationship with Special Group.

“We’d like to thank Special – they’ve done some great work for us, but we now need to take a different approach to continue to accelerate the success of our fast growing business.”

Special managing partner Michael Redwood and creative partner Tony Bradbourne were quickly on the wires with their own version, which steers clear of rancour but ladles on the vindication: “We’re extremely proud of the work and results we’ve delivered with 2degrees,” they said.

“The recent TV-led campaigns for Carryover Data and Broadband have topped Colmar Brunton’s Ad Impact rankings.

‘On top of that, we’ve rolled out a refreshed brand identity from store to OOH, and brought major digital initiatives to the table.”

“We want to thank everyone at Special, past and present, who have put so much energy, commitment and smart thinking into this brand.

“I think we can be proud of the results achieved, and how we helped drive 2degrees forward. Data Hunt and Play the Bridge have been personal highlights – winning 24 Axis Awards between them. Data Hunt in particular drove huge levels of engagement with the brand –  with more than 200,000 app downloads and 5 million plays.

“Both campaigns were Special initiatives, and we’re continuing to build a track record of bringing large scale digital experiences that connect our clients’ brands with customers.

“We wish 2degrees continued success and will continue to work with the team over the coming months to ensure any transition is handled with the care it deserves.”

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