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Telstra's branding plans leaked to El Reg

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What do you do if you’re the most-attacked name in the least-liked industry? Pitch a new campaign. In an internal e-mail that went out to staff last week, The Register has learned that Telstra wants to position itself as “Australia’s best loved brand.”

The e-mail from CEO David Thodey outlines a consumer charm offensive to be led by chief marketing officer Mark Buckman, the controversial former Commonwealth Bank marketing boss who joined the carrier last December.

The new branding will be progressively unveiled over the next few weeks.

Last week Telstra began introducing newly branded materials across its retail channels, point of sale materials, packaging, catalogues, and templates for the next phase of staff communications.

In the e-mail, Thodey describes the updated identity as “more exciting than ever before - it is more colourful, energetic and engaging.”

The branding goes public on Sunday 18 September, when Telstra will launch a new TV advertising campaign, fleet, digital and user interfaces.

“We will be applying the new brand identity across thousands of applications in the coming months. It is no small undertaking but it is an important one. It will only succeed, however, if everyone works together to deploy it with consistency and with discipline,” Thodey says.

As part of the new brand implementation the carrier has created a “governance council” which will monitor brand activity and compliance. Telstra staff and agencies will be inducted and trained into how use the brand identity system, and guidelines have been created in addition to an intranet site and new downloadable templates.

“The chief marketing officer and the Brand Team in the CMO will approve creative development relating to the brand,” Thodey stated.

He added that with the new, clear, brand strategy “supports our vision to become Australia's best loved brand.”

Buckman’s sphere of influence in the organization has been steadily expanding. This month, advertising agency Ogilvy was dumped from the creative roster. DDB and Droga5 remain in the mix.

Following a restructure in July, all of the carrier’s marketing functions were brought into line and unified under the leadership of Buckman, increasing his team to around 300.

Thodey said at the time of the restructure, “we are investing in a single retail customer-facing workforce that will now be unified in a single team, enabling us to work as one team to serve our customers better, win in the market and become more efficient as we prepare for the National Broadband Network.” ®

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