Nokia Awards $150 Million Account to Wieden

Agency Unseats Interpublic Team in Pitch for Global Nseries Smartphone Business

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LONDON (AdAge.com) -- Nokia has appointed Wieden & Kennedy to handle its $150 million global Nseries smartphone business after a pitch against the incumbent, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Team Nokia.
Wieden & Kennedy will handle the $150 million global Nseries smartphone business for Nokia.
Wieden & Kennedy will handle the $150 million global Nseries smartphone business for Nokia.

Nokia awarded the business for its flagship handsets after pitches in London and Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is not clear whether Wieden's London or Amsterdam office will lead the account.

Marketing for the Nseries was previously handled by an Interpublic team based in Lowe Worldwide's London offices, made up of people from Lowe, Rivet, digital agency R/GA and event-marketing company Jack Morton.

Lead creative agency
Last year, Nokia named Wieden the lead creative agency on the company's $260 million global handset business, excluding the Nseries. Finland-based Nokia uses the slogan "connecting people" as its central brand message. The company introduced the cutting-edge Nseries sub-brand in 2005.

Interpublic was appointed to create global advertising for the Nseries in January 2005, winning the business from WPP Group's Grey Worldwide. A 2006 campaign featuring British film star Gary Oldman, who has appeared in "Batman Begins" and "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," emphasized the Nseries' high-quality video capability.

People close to the pitch confirmed the move, but Lowe Worldwide declined to comment, and neither Nokia nor Wieden & Kennedy immediately returned calls.

Falling profits, sales
Nokia reported a 30% fall in profits for the third quarter, down to $1.36 billion from $1.95 billion in the same period last year. Sales fell 5%, to $15 billion, from the third quarter in 2007. Nokia's global handset market share for the third quarter was 38%, down from 39% a year earlier.

Separately, Nokia fought back last month against Apple's iPhone and Google's G1 with the launch of its first touch-screen phone, the 5800 XpressMusic, the first in a portfolio of products targeting the music-and-entertainment market.

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