from the sunday business post!
<h3>Digifone denies `new identity' rumours</h3>
Contradictions abound this week as to whether or not Esat Digifone is looking to recruit a British design consultancy to create its new corporate identity. Sources within the British design industry are adamant that Ireland's second largest GSM mobile phone service is currently searching for a British design group to work on a planned identity project.
For her part, Edele O'Leary, marketing manager at Esat Digifone, flatly denies that any such move is afoot. "We are not involved in appointing a consultancy to create a new identity. We generate a tremendous amount of literature and so we speak to design companies all of the time." Asked whether or not she had recently attended meetings at Heathrow where design groups presented credentials with a view to winning an identity job from Digifone, O'Leary said: "I'm not in a position to confirm or deny."</p>
Sources within the companies involved in the `pitch' revealed that a series of interviews (they believe eight in total), presided over by marketing director Derek Hanley and O'Leary, took place at a venue in Heathrow Airport on Wednesday August 18, and that Esat Digifone had subsequently narrowed the field to four companies which will present creative concepts against a brief from Digifone at a later date.</p>
The decision to recruit exclusively from the British market is believed to be based on a desire to keep the project secret. The brief given to the design groups centred on the creation of a new corporate identity and logo which would see the Esat `descriptor' dropped in favour of the simplified `Digifone'.</p>
It would seem that Esat Digifone is not taking any financial short-cuts in pursuit of its new image. Among the design groups interviewed at the preliminary stage were some impressive names: Interbrand Newell and Sorrell, most recently famous for the controversially flamboyant British Airways identity; Fitch, a consultancy at the forefront of the British design industry since the early 1980s; and The Partners, one of Britain's most celebrated creative agencies.</p>
Esat Digifone, in which Esat has a 49.5 per cent stake, recorded a profit of £356,000 in the three-month quarter to June 30th this year. Digifone now has more than 367,000 subscribers, many of whom belong to the prepaid category, representing a significant achievement for a company launched just two years ago. These figures are all the more impressive when assessed against a backdrop of net losses totalling £28.3 million recorded by its largest stake-holder, Esat Telecom, in the second quarter this year. It is believed that Esat Digifone has briefed the short-listed design consultancies to focus on giving the brand greater credibility in the business sector.</p>