France Telecom Rebrands Britain's Freeserve

05 April 2004

Leading UK internet service provider Freeserve is changing its name to Wanadoo.

The ISP, which has 2.6 million users in Britain, is switching its title to fall into line with the other European internet properties of parent France Telecom. Founded in 1998 by British electronics retailer Dixons, Freeserve was purchased by the French group in 2001.

The internet firm said the change in name would improve its positioning in the growing broadband market.

"We believe this is the perfect time to do this," declared Freeserve ceo Eric Abensur. "The Freeserve brand was a strong brand. But we are still considered as low technology or a start-up. We have grown up and we are a more mature organisation."

The company plans to spend £20 million ($37m; €30m) advertising the name change over the coming months, temporarily doubling the firm's marketing budget.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff