by Herman Manson (@MarkLives) MTN, one of the Africa’s biggest mobile brands, is out to pitch again. MTN issued a global request for proposals (RFP) at the end of 2019, the network operator has confirmed, with major global agency networks invited to participate.

“The RFI/RFP process for global marketing services across the MTN Group is well underway, having commenced in Q419,” confirms Bernice Samuels, MTN group executive: marketing. The global RFP covers all the markets where MTN operates; RFP invitees have all been global holding companies.

Second of four

This is the second of the big-four South African telco brands out to pitch lately, with Cell C having been the first (it’s currently held by McCann1886, an Interpublic Group company). Ogilvy South Africa (WPP) has Vodacom and Telkom is serviced by Wunderman Thompson (WPP), which recently saw its contract with the telco extended for several more years.

Comments Luca Gallarelli, TBWA\SA GCEO, “Omnicom Group currently acts as MTN’s agency partner of record and we continue to serve and support MTN Group and MTN operating companies through this process. I can confirm that we fully intend to participate and highly value the relationship we’ve forged with MTN over the course of the initial contract period.”

Similar approach

Omnicom logoIn 2016, the last time the account went out to pitch, MTN followed a similar approach, inviting Dentsu Aegis Network, Havas, Interpublic Group, Omnicom, Publicis and WPP to participate in the pitch. In early 2017, it was announced that the Omnicom Group was awarded as integrated global agency — in South Africa, the account is led by TBWA\Hunt Lascaris.

MTN operates in SA, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Botswana (joint venture-equity), eSwatini (joint venture-equity), Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Benin, Congo-Brazzaville, Liberia, Guinea Conakry and Guinea Bissau. Across the Middle East and North Africa region, it operates in Iran (joint venture-equity), Syria, Sudan, Yemen, and Afghanistan.

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