Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica is to commence the strategic process of rebranding its customer-facing operations in both its home country and Latin America under the Movistar banner next month. According to Europa Press, from 1 May 2010 the Telefonica name will be dropped from commercial use in the aforementioned regions, although it will be retained for institutional purposes, such as social programmes, investor relations and employee communications. The move follows the announcement in November 2009, as reported by CommsUpdate, that Telefonica had decided to bring all of its fixed line and internet subsidiaries in Spain and Latin America under the Movistar branding already used by the majority of its Latin American mobile units. Luis Abril, Telefonica’s technical general secretary to the chairman, noted: ‘This decision is in keeping with the growing convergence of fixed and mobile telephony and will allow the group to increase its efficiency and improve integrated offers for customers.’ The only exception to the process is expected to be Vivo in Brazil (jointly owned with Portugal Telecom), which will continue to operate under its existing moniker.
The latest development in the rebranding process follows Telefonica’s decision to appoint a new company to handle its advertising in the Latin American region; Mother will take responsibility for the campaign that will oversee the name change. Some of Telefonica’s operations in Europe meanwhile will undergo a similar change, with the Telefonica prefix also being dropped by operators such as Telefonica O2 Germany and Telefonica O2 Slovakia.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at end-December 2009 Telefonica had 182.6 million wireless subscribers worldwide, with the group’s Brazilian, Spanish and Mexican mobile subsidiaries accounting for 51.7 million, 23.5 million and 17.4 million customers respectively.