Nokia's corporate PR account under review

LONDON - The world's leading mobile phone manufacturer Nokia is reviewing its corporate PR account, currently held by Grant Butler Coomber.

The firm, which controls 37% of the world's mobile phone market, has narrowed the review down to a shortlist of two other agencies, which will present to Nokia head of comms Mark Squires in the coming weeks. The business is understood to be worth a sizeable six-figure fee.

Squires described the process as a routine review and maintained that it did not necessarily mean that GBC was in danger of losing the corporate business.

'We're having a look at other agencies as part of our quality assessment (QA),' he said.

'It's the usual type of QA which is nothing less than you would expect of a responsible PR manager. I'm happy with the work GBC have done and are doing,' he added.

GBC's brief includes work for Nokia Networks, internet and home communications arms, in addition to the corporate brief.

Squires reiterated that none of the other parts of GBC's work are affected, nor its relationship with The Red Consultancy, which handles consumer PR for Nokia handsets.

The review follows the announcement two months ago that Nokia had cut its industry-wide sales forecast for the year by some 40 million handsets, down from an original estimate of 440 million.

Last month Squires told PRWeek that he believed sales of handsets would rise again with the advent of 3G technology later this year, due to the 'cyclical' nature of the mobile phone industry (PRWeek, 3 May).

Squires took up the role of director of communications for the UK and Ireland just over a year ago (PRWeek, 11 May 2001), when incumbent David Stoneham was promoted to global head of CSR with the firm.

Squires moved to Nokia's communications department from a post as the UK business development manager for Nokia's mobile phone division.

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