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IPG Agencies to Work on Launch of Multi-Function Mobile Phones

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LONDON ( -- Nokia is awarding a pan-European ad budget behind a next-generation range of mobile phones, backed by up to $250 million to $300 million in spending, which will be handled by Interpublic Group of Cos. agencies, the winners in a four-way holding company review.
Nokia's new phones will offer advanced music and video capabilities.

The new handsets will offer advanced music and video capabilities as well as telephony and e-mail functions.

Agencies in the review
At least four Interpublic agencies -- Lowe, Draft Worldwide, digital agency R/GA and events shop Jack Morton -- will create advertising, direct marketing, events, trade marketing and music sponsorship for the new handsets. The Interpublic agencies pitched against teams led by Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide; a German office of Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide; and Havas' Euro RSCG, Chicago. Grey retains its existing assignments, including mobile phones and N-Gage, a cell phone launched a year ago as a gaming product.

Agency executives familiar with the review confirmed the move and referred calls to Nokia. The marketer's director of communications for multimedia, Kari Tuutti, said, "We cannot confirm any appointment and budgets are pure speculation. We will be commenting on this in the coming months."

Targeting young people
The new product targets young people who are deemed hard to reach with traditional advertising messages, so much of the campaign will be driven by nontraditional media, agency executives said. Interpublic is expected to designate a London-based agency executive to manage the account. The group has not worked for Nokia before.

Nokia will invest heavily in marketing the new phones in an effort to find new ways to increase revenue with high-margin products, because most mobile phone handsets are virtually given away as part of a package with the network service providers. One executive said Nokia has even banned use of the phrase "mobile phone" by its employees.

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