Nokia in a statement said hiring the WPP Group agency is part of a "marketing renewal that focuses on streamlining marketing planning and increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of all marketing activities." Maybe so, but the streamlining also involves a large cast of characters.
Not a slim roster
In July, independent Wieden & Kennedy, working out of its London office, was named lead agency for mobile-phone creative.
Nokia also has divided duties for its multimedia phones, such as the Nokia NSeries, and its enterprise solutions group. Creative support for the former is with Interpublic Group Cos., while WPP houses the latter's global creative business.
A JWT spokeswoman said the win covers 95 markets and "was hard-fought over six months and tens of countries, and that delivers on JWT's promise of being future ready." JWT and sibling Grey Worldwide, the marketer's agency in the U.S., Europe and parts of the Middle East, led the pitch. Bates, Nokia's shop in Asia, and Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide were other finalists.
Last year, Nokia spent $49 million in measured media in the U.S., according to TNS Media Intelligence. Some estimates have put its global spending as high as $300 million.
Transition to new marketing will begin during the fall, with the new shops taking over in January.
Although Nokia, with sales of $17.2 billion, is the world's leader in market share, it battles for first place in the U.S. market. From April to June of this year Nokia's worldwide sales were up 29% from 2006, more than double the industry's overall growth of 14%. Of the 262 million mobile devices sold globally, 100 million were Nokia phones, the company said.
According to Strategy Analytics, in the second quarter Nokia was No. 4 in the U.S. marketplace, with a 13.4% share behind No. 1 Motorola at 33%, followed by Samsung at 17% and LG at 15%.
Contributing: Normandy Madden, Megan McIlroy