HTC shakes up UK comms in bid for market fightback

HTC is putting all of its UK agency work up for grabs as part of a global shift in comms focus.

New focus: HTC’s ads by WPP agency 171 feature Robert Downey Jr
New focus: HTC’s ads by WPP agency 171 feature Robert Downey Jr

The Taiwanese mobile phone manufacturer has issued a far-reaching UK tender after elevating incumbent Nelson Bostock to a new global brief.

PRWeek understands a shortlist is currently being drawn up for the six-figure brief, which would include corporate, consumer and b2b work.

It is thought the firm is yet to decide whether a combined brief will go to one agency or the work will be split.

The rethink comes as the company fights to bounce back from a difficult period culminating in a profit warning issued in July.

The number of phones it sold globally dived by 26 per cent in 2012 to 32 million, according to technology analyst Gartner.

Last month HTC kicked off a billion-dollar global marketing campaign fronted by film star Robert Downey Jr under the slogan of ‘Here’s To Change’.

HTC’s global head of comms Julia Herd said Nelson Bostock would act as a ‘global hub’ for consumer and corporate PR as the company positioned itself as a ‘leader in innovation’.

Revealing that the shake-up would include a new in-house role leading EMEA comms, Herd said: ‘To deliver programmes that resonate eff-ectively and get more traction with a broader consumer audience, it is important to co-ordinate global comms.

‘The [Robert Downey Jr] adverts are just a small part of launching a change platform.’

Formerly the market leader in handsets featuring Google’s Android operating system, HTC has struggled of late, with Q2 profits down by 83 per cent year-on-year.

Herd called the UK market ‘massive’ for the company, adding the brief was ‘strategically important’ within a wider European context.

Dynamo’s work promoting the HTC One handset in the UK is unaffected by the review.

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