Skinny mobile has lost its head honcho, Paul O'Shannessey, just as the brand makes its first push into traditional advertising media via TV commercials and a full-page ad in the Herald.
Telecom's youth-focused sub brand yesterday confirmed the departure of O'Shannessey, with no details beyond the fact that he's "off to pursue other opportunities".
Speculation is that Skinny is failing to deliver the goods – details of its customer numbers and finances are likely to be released alongside Telecom's upcoming annual report and financial results.
Skinny, which uses Telecom's XT mobile network, launched in January and marks Telecom's attempt to claw back share in the prepaid mobile market.
Skinny offers some of the cheapest calling rates in the country and is offering a $4 a week 2000-text ‘text bomb’ and topups from $5.
It pushed the brand at events over the summer, including the Wellington Sevens, Rhythm & Vines and O-Week celebrations, then ramped up the digital and social media activity (it just passed 85,000 likes on Facebook) in an effort to create a community, find the biggest influencers and eventually give some love to those who were helping the brand.
But one of those events, a skateboarding competition in Victoria Park, hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons after a kerfuffle over vandalism and an alleged assault.
Now Skinny is moving into the realm of print and TV advertising, with the telly campaign done by Saatchi & Saatchi featuring old stock footage, purposefully absurd voiceovers and a paintball-firing Donnie Darko-style rabbit.
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