Weber Shandwick wins £1m Nortel global brief

Canadian telecoms firm Nortel Networks has handed its global PR account to Weber Shandwick, parting company with a roster of agencies including the incumbent for EMEA region, Pleon.

Fees are believed to be in the region of £1m.

Nortel held a competitive pitch earlier in the year, with the aim of pooling resources into one global PR supplier (PRWeek, 2 February).

Several global agencies pitched, with a showdown between Omnicom and Interpublic Group-owned Weber Shandwick. Nortel’s agency, the Interpublic-owned McCann-Erickson was not affected by the review.

The new strategy will centre on ‘the issue of hyperconnectivity’ and Nortel’s ‘business made simple’ strapline, according to Nortel EMEA director of corporate communications Ben Roome.

‘We’re at a real inflection in the industry – more and more devices, people, things are connecting to the global network through a wireless link. To cope with this trend, networks are becoming more intelligent’, Roome told PRWeek.

He added that the idea of ‘hyperconnectivity’, although potentially delivering huge benefits, can also be a big issue for the people who have to manage connections for employees: ‘We need to communicate how to help them exploit this development.’

Nortel operates in more than 150 countries and will use WS or its affiliates in every territory. WS technology MD Michelle McGlocklin leads the account.

Pleon won the EMEA work in 2004 (PRWeek,  24 July 2004). Pleon UK CEO UK Jennifer Helfer said: ‘We have had a good relationship with Nortel, but they wanted a one agency model.’

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