Nokia consolidates home communications with GBC

Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia has turned to Top 50 UK PR agency

Grant Butler Coomber to handle all UK PR for the firm's home

communications division.

The win marks the fourth piece of Nokia business handed to GBC,

following the agency's appointment late last year to run PR programmes

for Nokia corporate communications, Nokia networks and Nokia internet

communications - all won in separate pitches.

GBC's latest account - awarded following a two-way pitch - takes the

agency's Nokia fees well into six-figures.

The consultancy replaces seven-year incumbent Lexis Public Relations on

the home communications brief.

Nokia home communications director of sales and marketing, Fran Wood,

said: 'We had been with Lexis for seven years and have changed rapidly

since then.

'The business is now much more internet-focussed and more specialist,

and we felt a change in agency was best.

'It makes better sense for us to be working with one agency on these

accounts,' she added.

GBC director of consumer technology Sara Tye runs all four-account

teams, reporting to Wood.

Up to ten people work on the Nokia business from across GBC's specialist


On the home communications account win, Tye said: 'The remit is more to

do with product placement and technology PR - we'll be looking at the

consumer technology market in the over-55s.

'The three other accounts are predominantly business-to-business,

corporate communications and analyst programmes.'

Wood confirmed the UK Nokia mobile phone PR business would continue to

be run by The RED Consultancy.

Boulogne-based GBC Conseil also won Nokia Networks for France last

December in a separate pitch.

Alongside GBC Conseil, the consultancy also has an overseas office in

Poland as well as an affiliate network called Embrace.

Nokia is the world's biggest manufacturer of mobile phone handsets and

accounts for a third of the worldwide market.

Last month it announced that it was cutting its forecast for 2001

industry-wide handset sales from 550 million to 500-550 million -

confirming the global slowdown in mobile sales.

The company also announced it was delaying the launch of its next

generation mobile phones, known as GPRS handsets.

They are now expected to hit the high street in late 2002.

In the final quarter of 2000, Nokia recorded pre-tax profits of £1.12bn, up from just under £1bn the year before.

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