NOKIA SHOPS MILLENNIUM PROJECT: 5 ROSTER AGENCIES TO DEVELOP IDEAS FOR WIRELESS COMPANY'S ASSIGNMENT

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Nokia is turning to its global roster of agencies for a different kind of Y2K help. The wireless phone marketer has asked its five shops to develop creative for a millennium-theme assignment.

Agencies asked to come up with ideas include Bates, Hong Kong, which handles Nokia in Asia; SEK & Grey Advertising, Helsinki, for Europe; Peak Barr Petralia Biety, Tampa, Fla., for Latin America; and Richards Group, Dallas, for the U.S.

A Nokia spokeswoman confirmed the company has asked roster agencies for ideas on a new project.

NORMAL COURSE OF BUSINESS

"It's the normal course of business here. There are all kinds of creative minds working on building the Nokia brand and our branding is at different stages of life in places like Asia and Europe. So why not learn from what's going on there and vice versa?" she said.

Spending for the U.S. assignment was undetermined. Nokia spent about $33 million in measured media in the U.S. in 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Nokia also splits the cost of AT&T Corp.'s Digital One Rate ads, which feature Nokia phones exclusively. The 1998 launch of that service was estimated at $35 million.

The new project comes as Nokia readies an aggressive summer push for its latest U.S. entry, the 8800 metallic phone. Richards Group is creating a TV and print campaign that will roll out in August, the same time the phone hits the U.S. market. (The 8800 series debuted in Europe and Asia last year.)

Creative is expected to play off shocked consumer's reactions when they first see the phone. The ads will tout the small, chrome-plated phone as not just a communications device but a personal accessory like a watch or pen.

The new phone weighs less than 4 ounces. And along with the sleek design, the 8800 series comes with a higher price tag -- it will retail at just under $1,000.

The 8800, like Nokia's other recent digital phones, has a long-life battery that

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