Countrywide to build ICO brand

ICO Global Communications, a start-up company which is gearing up to provide mobile communications via satellite, has hired Countrywide Porter Novelli for a pounds 200,000 fee account to establish its brand across Europe.

ICO Global Communications, a start-up company which is gearing up

to provide mobile communications via satellite, has hired Countrywide

Porter Novelli for a pounds 200,000 fee account to establish its brand

across Europe.



With a budget of pounds 400,000, Countrywide will co-ordinate media

activities across eight European countries, including Germany, Spain,

Italy and Scandinavia. The account was won after a two-way pitch.



The account will be co-ordinated in London and implemented by agencies

in the Porter Novelli network throughout Europe.



’We are a new company and we are counting on Countrywide to make an

impact in those countries,’ said ICO global media director Michael

Johnson.



ICO, a UK-based company, will enable customers to use new-generation

mobile phones to make and receive calls from anywhere in the world

through satellite and most cellular networks.



The company, which has not started selling its services yet, is

launching five satellites by the end of next year to complete its ten

satellite operation. It hopes to become a household name in its

field.



ICO already retains PR agency Purple Patch to promote its sponsorship of

Virgin Group of Companies chairman Richard Branson’s latest attempt to

circumnavigate the globe in a hot air balloon, which will happen between

November and February.



It will work with retailers on the ground, including BT in the UK, to

offer the services which are set to be launched in the year 2000.



Customers being targeted include business travellers, the maritime and

aeronautical sector, communities in remote areas and long-distance land

transport operators.



Rival satellite phone companies include Iridium and Globalstar. All

three firms are racing to secure market share but Iridium and Globalstar

have been hit by launch delays.



Iridium is set to start service imminently, while Globalstar now plans

to start services in the third quarter of 1999.



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