Nokia PR rejig to reward Ketchum and piranhaKid

Nokia, the world’s leading mobile phone manufacturer, is this week putting the finishing touches to a revamped global PR agency line-up designed to reflect its recent corporate restructure.

At least five UK agencies have pitched to comms bosses at Nokia’s headquarters in Finland for what are understood to be contracts to advise on global PR strategy.

Ketchum and niche consumer shop piranhaKid have emerged as early winners from the pitch process, according to a source involved in the review, although neither Nokia nor the agencies themselves would comment.

Nokia broke its business into four groups – mobile phones, multimedia, networks and enterprise solutions – in a sweeping restructure in January and sources suggest up to four PR contracts are up for grabs.

It is understood that Ketchum will land a global remit for enterprise solutions, a business group for which it already works in the US.

PiranhaKid meanwhile is poised to land a contract that involves the promotion of Nokia’s 7700 mobile device, which is set to enter the shops later this year.

PiranhaKid MD Jason Gallucci declined to comment while Ketchum London CEO David Gallagher said he had received no‘official confirmation’ from Nokia.

Sari Lönnqvist, Finland-based multimedia comms manager, refused to comment on the review.

UK head of corporate comms Mark Squires said the contracts up for grabs were for global work, and, as such, would not affect contracts in the UK, where it uses Grant Butler Coomber and The Red Consultancy.

GBC works for Nokia on UK corporate and networks PR, its consumer division Chocolate promotes the N-Gage games device, while Red handles UK consumer PR for handsets. GBC and Red declined to comment on the review.

Nokia is expecting volumes to rise by more than ten per cent this year, which means it will make around 200 million phones in 2004. The company claims a global handset market share of around 38 per cent.

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