Mobile phone titan Vodafone is reportedly in clandestine negotiations with a trio of ad networks regarding a new worldwide brief.

Talkative insiders have let it be known that one of the three shops vying for the as-yet-unspecified global assignment is J Walter Thompson in London, which the same sources regard as the most likely to win.

However, the new duties are not expected to impinge upon relations between Vodafone and its current agency Wieden & Kennedy.

JWT, which already handles the mobile phone group in Portugal, gave nothing away – Michael Madel, the network’s EMEA president, insisted the client had made no selection.

The news came as Vodafone announced it had added 4.2 million subscribers to its customer base, which now stands at 99.9m. The UK-headquartered group has operations in 28 countries around the world.

News source: AdAge Global; The Times (London)