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M1 ends 10-year relationship with Y&R for Dentsu Singapore

Singapore telco M1 Limited has dropped Y&R Singapore as its creative agency-of-record after nearly a decade.

The company has announced its decision to hand Dentsu Singapore the integrated creative and strategic account following a seven-month-long pitch.

Y&R Singapore is understood to have re-pitched for the chance to carry on the account for a 10th year.

The agency shift comes at a critical time for M1, as the company, plus Singapore’s other two legacy telcos, Singtel and Star Hub, face stiffer competition from new upstarts such as Zero Mobile, MyRepublic and Circles.Life.

In a statement to Mumbrella, M1’s long-serving chief marketing officer P. Subramaniam said: “The telco space is fast-paced, and highly competitive. To stay relevant, we will continue to build the M1 brand to inspire our customers.

“We look forward to working closely with our new agency partner Dentsu Singapore, to engage our customers, bringing new and innovative products and services to them.”

Rosalynn Tay, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Singapore, added: “We are excited about winning an iconic local brand. M1 is a familiar face to all Singaporeans, with a notable story to tell. As the communications industry continues to evolve, we look forward to teaming up with M1 to create lasting and impactful stories that resonate with the nation.”

Dentsu declined to comment further when pressed about the contract’s length.

Originally appointed in 2008, Y&R Singapore has continued to retain the account following reviews in 2012 and 2014.

During its 10-year account tenure, the agency made a number of high-profile brand campaigns, including ‘Welcome to the World of M1’ and ‘M1. For Every One’.

Last year, the brand released the commercial ‘I’M1’ in a bid to plug unity among Singaporeans.

However, the agency has recently experienced significant upheaval within its leadership ranks.

At the end of 2016, the agency’s managing director Melvin Kuek stepped down after four years. Then, one year later, Y&R Asia president Matt Godfrey quit after seven years to join a Singapore-based food start-up.

Both roles have been replaced by Shirley Tay and Chris Foster respectively.

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