HTC Begins Global PR Review

HTC's Worldwide Market Share Declined to 1.8% Last Year From 2.4% in 2011

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HTC's global PR head resigned recently after only four months on the job, but that's not stopping the Taiwanese mobile device manufacturer from conducting a global agency review, according to people familiar with the matter. The company isn't wasting any time as it looks for broad PR support in various global markets, including the U.S. and Asia, the people said.


A handful of PR shops sit on HTC's roster, including independent shop Waggener Edstrom in North America. The agency referred calls to the client.

HTC's head of global public relations, Lorain Wong, resigned in October due to to family reasons, Bloomberg reported last month. Chief Marketing Officer Ben Ho told Bloomberg at the time that she would stay on as a consultant for three to four months.

Mr. Ho is also new. He came on board this January to oversee consumer marketing and planning, public relations, media, consumer insights and marketing talent development, according to HTC's website. He previously led marketing for Far EasTone Telecommunication and earlier held roles on both the client and creative-agency sides of the business.

Since Mr. Ho's arrival, HTC has begun a splashy and pricey campaign starring Robert Downey Jr. The electronics giant was likely hoping that star power could boost its market share, which fell to 1.8% in 2012 from 2.4% in 2011, according to eMarketer. That market share loss also corresponded to a drop in advertising spend. HTC U.S. measured media spending declined to $43.4 million in 2012 from $120.9 million in 2011, according to the Ad Age DataCenter.

Erin McGee, HTC's VP-marketing in North America, said earlier this year that the company would be ramping up its marketing in 2013 but declined to be more specific on spending. From January through August this year, the company had already spent $67 million on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media. Measured media does not include PR spending.

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