SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Nokia, reviewing agencies for the creative portion of its $40 million account, is expected to open a review for its media assignment as well, said people familiar with the matter.
Nokia, the world's largest handset marketer, has thrown its creative account for North America into review earlier this month. At Richards Group, Dallas, which has handled creative and media for the account, an executive said the agency was unaware of a media review. Richards does not defend accounts that go into review.
A spokeswoman for the marketer, Denise Crew, said in a statement that Richards Group continues to be the agency of record, and that media buying and planning is not included in the current search for a creative agency. Ms. Crew said it's Nokia does not comment on rumors or speculation.
Nokia spent $260 million on advertising worldwide and in the U.S. spent $36.8 million in measured media in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.
Low marketing profile
While the Finnish marketer controls 35% of the global handset market, Nokia has kept a relatively low marketing profile despite an onslaught of new competitors. Nokia's share is down slightly from the previous quarter, according to a study released this month from research firm IDC, while competitors Motorola, Samsung Electronics Co. and Siemens increased share.
During the fourth quarter of 2002, rival Motorola eclipsed Nokia in U.S. unit shipments. This past summer, Nokia made a $35 million measured media push to promote nearly a dozen new phones loaded with a variety of gaming, music and other features.
Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide handles Nokia in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and does global work for Nokias N-Gage gaming phone, including an October global effort. Other shops handle Nokia in other parts of the world, including Bates Worldwide in Asia and Lew Lara in Brazil.
Recently Nokia executives detailed plans to make the company a major player in the wave of convergence, and last month unveiled the 7700 model that includes a Web browser with touch screen, digital camera, FM radio and other functions now common in personal digital assistants.
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This story contains reporting from Alice Z. Cuneo and Kate MacArthur.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Nokia's advertising globally is handled by Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide. Grey Worldwide handles Nokia in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and does global work for Nokia's N-gage gaming phone. Other agencies handle Nokia in other parts of the world.