Has T-Mobile's girl in pink been given a pink slip?
Carly Foulkes -- otherwise known as "T-Mobile Carly" or "the T-Mobile Girl" -- does not appear in the company's most recent advertisements, which debuted on Tuesday, nor was she present at the New York City event announcing the wireless carrier's aggressive new pricing strategy, two ominous signs that the familiar promotional character has been axed.
Unlike virtually every T-Mobile television commercial and print advertisement since 2010, when Carly debuted as a pink-dress-wearing spokeswoman for the fourth-largest mobile carrier in America, Foulkes was nowhere to be seen in T-Mo's "UnCarrier" promotional material. A T-Mobile spokesperson told Business Insider that Carly will not appear in this round of ads, which BI writer Jim Edwards takes to mean that the actress's association with T-Mobile is kaput.
We followed up with T-Mobile, asking specifically in an email and over the phone whether Foulkes was out at T-Mobile, and a spokesman sent us this response:
As T-Mobile un-leashes its bold new plans to reinvent the way people purchase wireless, we’ll be launching a new brand and advertising campaign to clearly show consumers how T-Mobile is shaking up the restrictive industry model. This campaign represents a new direction for the brand -- offering consumers a simple choice. As such, the current campaign will not feature the character of the T-Mobile Girl, however she is still a part of the company’s brand family. We’re shooting from the hip and think you’re gonna love our cage-rattling approach.
That "new direction for the brand" line -- a beautiful bit of corporate-speak -- likely means that the T-Mobile Girl is T-Mobile Gone.
For those of you a bit foggy on who this "T-Mobile Girl" is, here are several of her advertisements for the company, back to back to back. A greatest hits compilation, if you will:
Now, there is some hope. As the T-Mobile spokesman wrote, Carly is "still a part of the company's brand family," which means the door is still open for her return, should she choose to make a grand, Hulk Hogan-esque reemergence after a few years. Reading between the lines, however, it would seem as though T-Mobile is taking its new marketing campaign in a direction that does not include the T-Mobile girl and her motorcycle.
Dumping Carly makes sense from a logical standpoint, given T-Mobile's announcement. In case you missed it, the wireless carrier said it would essentially drop the two-year contract model that is familiar from competitors AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, and instead adopt a model that is less expensive per month for many consumers.
"We're canceling our membership in the out-of-touch-wireless-carrier-club," a large banner on T-Mobile.com reads. In other words, T-Mobile is reinventing itself and attempting to re-program the way most people think about it. Cutting ties with its highly-recognizable spokesperson feels like a rational move.
If you want your Carly fix, then, you might need to start looking elsewhere. The actress Carly Foulkes is on Twitter, and you can follow her right here.