INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Mobile phone giant soon to see pitches

London: Recently merged mobile phone giant Sony Ericsson is set to

host a raft of pitches worldwide as it seeks to take on external PR help

"as soon as possible."



Formed at the start of October, the company has appointed ex-Ericsson

communications head Nina Eldh as head of corporate communications, with

Tetsuo Kanno and Peter Bodor as PR managers leading the communications

drive.



According to Bodor, also from the Ericsson side, the company is not

planning to hire one global agency. He said the communications team is

devising a structure in which a global network of firms can be hired,

although he didn't rule out offering a lead role to one agency.



Although no agencies have as yet been shortlisted, Bodor confirmed that

several had made unsolicited approaches to the company, which itself

made preliminary inquiries to a number of agencies when the merger was

first suggested.



The company, which is in the process of relocating to London, where its

communications team will be based, is now recruiting for an internal

communications head and a PR assistant.



Although agencies will be involved, Bodor said, "We're intending to keep

some of the work in-house, and it's important to keep core PR strategy

in-house."



Bodor added that the company would start with a "small and efficient"

team, but declined to comment on which areas of external PR help would

be sought, or when pitches would occur.



Sony and Ericsson, which own equal shares in the new entity, sold more

than 50 million mobile phone handsets between them last year, worth in

excess of $7 billion.



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