Orange is one of Europe's biggest telecoms operators. By the end of 2017, it served some 273m customers in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, offering a range of mobile, fixed line and broadband services, including streaming TV. Mobile alone accounted for 211m customers. In several markets it offers financial services through its own Orange Bank. At the end of the 1990s, the state-controlled communications group, then known as France Telecom, had expansion on its mind, establishing footholds in other European territories, not least the UK, where it snapped up local mobile service Orange - which had originally been launched by Hutchison Telecom - as well as internet service Freeserve. However, the shopping spree brought with it substantial debts, which had risen to €70bn by 2002. That year the group almost outdid Vivendi for record corporate losses as it wrote off the value of failed investments. A new management team gradually restored the group's fortunes and began the slow process of reducing its debt mountain. In 2006, France Telecom unveiled an ambitious restructuring program in which all its worldwide mobile, internet and business communications businesses were merged under the acquired Orange brandname. As the group focused more intently on its international operations, the France Telecom name was retired into the background, and finally dropped altogether July 2013. Since then, Orange has been gradually unpicking its network of foreign investments selling off weaker units to focus on a handful of major markets. In 2016, in the biggest such deal, it sold its share of leading UK mobile carrier EE to BT. Group revenues for 2017 were E41.1bn. France remains its biggest market by far, accounting for over 40% of revenues. Spain and Poland are the two next most important, alongside five other European markets. Orange also has an extensive presence across Africa and the Middle East. Stephane Richard is chairman & CEO. The French state continues to own a 29% stake in the group.
Capsule checked 26th October 2018
Which agencies handle advertising for Orange? Find out more from the Account Assignments database.
Who are the competitors of Orange? Major competitors include Free, Altice-SFR and Bouygues in France; Telefonica and Vodafone in Spain; T-Mobile and Polkomtel in Poland; and MTN in several Afican markets. See Telecoms Index for other companies
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Historical profile information for Orange
Adbrands Account Assignments track account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets.
Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Nov 2018: Ads of the Week "The Gifts of Christmas". At last, the truth about Christmas. For French mobile giant Orange, Publicis Conseil tells it how it is with an enormously entertaining catalogue of Yuletide catastrophes. And all set to one of those relentlessly jolly American seasonal jingles. Perhaps not everyone's end of the year holidays are quite like this, but we've all been there at some point or other. And we're not sure a new phone at the end of it makes up for all the suffering! Joyeux Noel tout le monde!
Adbrands Social Media 28th Aug 2018: "Unlimited Calls". There's no better excuse than a phone call to let you get out of those annoying everyday inconveniences. That's the concept behind the latest campaign from Publicis Brussels for Orange Belgium, highlighting the mobile carrier's new unlimited calls plan. This couple seem to have that trick nailed - it's just a question of who gets there first.
Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Jul 2018: Ads of the Week "The Thread". Publicis Conseil delivers another excellent campaign for local mobile giant Orange, demonstrating the power of a mobile connection to resolve any temporary hiccups in any relationship. It's a cute way to illustrate the idea. How much better would it have been if this couple had added a tin can at either end of the thread to talk through? (Not better at all, actually). Lovely luminous photography, too, in what look like a variety of different countries but were probably all the same one with the help of clever set dressing.
Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Dec 2016: Ads of the Week: "Big Christmas". Getting in just under the wire ahead of Christmas Day, here's a funny seasonal spot from Publicis Conseil for French telecoms giant Orange. Two neighbours go head-to-head for the best Christmas decorations. You'll be glad *your* neighbours don't go in for this sort of thing, or you'd never sleep a wink.
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Apr 2016: French telecoms group Orange is moving into financial services with a deal to acquire control of the banking division of local insurer Groupama. The two groups have been in negotiations since the beginning of the year. Groupama Banque will relaunch before the end of the year as Orange Bank, offering a full range of mobile banking services. Orange has agreed to acquire a 65% stake in the business for an undisclosed sum.
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