Palm hunts for UK shop as Cisco's Phillips joins

Handheld vendor Palm is reviewing its UK PR following last month’s hire of Andrew Phillips as corporate comms and PR manager, EMEA.

The move ends Kaizo's nine-year stint as Palm's UK agency. Bite Communications, Weber Shandwick, Cohn & Wolfe and CompanyCare are battling it out for the account.

Phillips joined from Cisco Systems, where he was PR manager (mobile service provider, wireless and security). 'After nine years it was time for agency and client to go their separate ways,'
he said.

'We chose the [four pitching] agencies because of their experience in our product areas: WS with Windows mobile technology; Companycare for its work with the GSM association; C&W's mobile service provider accounts; and Bite's iconic client brands.'

The successful agency will be expected to cover a PR and public affairs remit, positioning Palm as an established mobile computing brand. It will promote its work with mobile service providers, and target 'professional consumers'.

The winner of the brief will be decided next week.

Palm has a strong heritage in the US where it this year celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Palm Pilot, widely regarded as the first successful handheld PC.

The brand is less iconic in Europe and Palm is gearing up for a drive on the Continent. This involves a review of its agencies in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, although Phillips insisted no decision has been taken on whether to replace the incumbent firms.

Palm formed in 1992 as a software maker for handhelds before launching the Pilot in 1996.

Last week Palm was forced to pull a software update for its Treo 700 handheld computer after it failed to operate on some of the machines.

Phillips replaced Murielle Combes, whose destination is unknown.

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