Just In: X3M Ideas Resigns 9Mobile Advertising Business


X3M Ideas


November appears to be the month of drama and intrigues in the telecommunications and marketing communications space. Just as we are still trying to wrap our fingers round all the realignments happening at MTN, it appears there’s even more going on at the recently rebranded 9Mobile.

Following the request for proposals which came shortly after its rebranding, many industry watchers believed the telco’s move as ‘ill-advised’. As one source said: ‘How do you throw the business open for a pitch when all your agencies have just worked with you to survive such uncertain period?’

Yet, while the pitch is yet to hold, it is now being said that at least one of the agencies handling the account may have thrown in the towel.

There have been no official confirmations yet, but close watchers are saying X3M Ideas, the popular creative agency led by Steve Babaeko have jolted the client and the industry with its unbelievable decision to resign the mouth-watering business.

There are no specific details as of this time, but it is highly likely the agency has informed the client of its decision to ‘move on’.

X3M Ideas have been one of the two creative advertising agencies for 9Mobile since about 5 years ago. The other agency is 141 Worldwide which has had the business since the business inception in the country as Etisalat about 9 years.

X3M Ideas becomes the second agency that resigned 9mobile media business. It will be recalled that Media Seal (formerly Starcom Media) resigned the account of thr telecoms company two years ago.

The Country’s fourth largest GSM provider and innovative network, 9Mobile became apparently troubled when a $1.2 billion loan from a consortium of banks became crippling, causing the government and other parties to intervene. The UAE owners of the Etisalat brand soon pulled out, leading to change in management and a rebranding, even as a possible sale is reportedly underway.

Newly-appointed CEO, Boye Olusanya has said his mandate is to save funds. “Our mandate is to make sure the business runs as profitable as it can. What is most important now is to ensure that the business runs and meets its obligations”, the CEO said in a statement released to the media by the PR Agency, Chain Reactions.

Efforts to speak with Babaeko on this development proved abortive as at the time of filing this report. We will, however, update this story as soon as we get comments from 9Mobile and X3M Ideas.


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