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
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
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
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
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.