Telecom keeps business personal for the SME crowd—UPDATED

While Telecom is currently focusing on the advertising of its major competitor, with proceedings lodged today in the High Court over aspects of what it believes are misleading claims in Vodafone’s recent SuperNet campaign, it will be focusing on its own advertising come Sunday night, because it’s launching a new campaign for its Business Hubs, the local (and often locally-owned) business-only locations offering services and products to SME customers.

As the ad says: “Business is personal. We believe technology is too. Which is why one of the team from your local Telecom Business Hub will come to you.” 

Telecom’s media and PR manager Lucy Fullarton says it carried out research with small businesses and it showed that while price was still an important factor for this market, it was not the primary driver when it came to choosing a telco provider.  

“Instead, the critical thing was being able to rely on a local person who will come to them and who knows their business,” she says. 

The campaign, which was created by Telecom’s new B2B agency Consortium and shot by Kiku Ohe from Exit Films in Sydney, follows that idea through, with eight real customers used to tell the story of how they interact with their Business Hub representative. 

Filming was done mainly on location at the businesses as they went about their work. And there is only one actor involved: the Business Hub representative.

The 45 second TVC (it also includes three 15 second versions) is part of a much wider campaign, which has seen the company profile nearly 40 businesses from around the country through a range of media, including print, outdoor and online (Telecom has a takeover running on the business sections of nzherald.co.nz and stuff.co.nz at the moment). 

  • Check out some Business Hub case studies of Grant Hood, Canopy Tours and Eco Island here.

As for the Vodafone stoush, Fullarton says: “We’ve lodged proceedings in the High Court against Vodafone New Zealand in relation to Vodafone’s current ‘Supernet’ advertising campaign. Telecom is seeking a Court order requiring Vodafone to stop or change certain aspects of its campaign on the basis they are in breach of the Fair Trading Act 1986, as they are misleading and likely to deceive consumers.​”

According to Stuff and the Herald, it’s thought Telecom is objecting to the use of the term ultra-fast broadband to describe its cable network in Wellington and Christchurch, which it took over when it bought Telstra-Clear. 

Vodafone is yet to make a statement on the matter. But after a $960,000 fine was handed down to Vodafone by the Commerce Commission for 21 different violations of the Fair Trading Act last year, it’s not a particularly good look to be accused of similar alleged violations now. 


A Vodafone statement says: “These messages have been in the market for a while now – the only difference is we are using our SuperNet campaign to bring the story together for Kiwis. We stand behind the Vodafone SuperNet campaign. We are confident in what we are communicating and we will be defending Vodafone SuperNet in court.”

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