Arun Sudhaman 30 Jan 2013 // 12:00AM GMT
LONDON--Motorola is consolidating PR duties for several international markets with Weber Shandwick, as the handset player attempts to revive a moribund mobile business.
Motorola Mobility, which was acquired by Google in 2011, has shifted its UK PR business to Weber Shandwick, after previously working with JCPR Edelman. The account is understood to be worth as much as £600k, ahead of the launch of the Motorola Razr X smartphone later this year.
The Holmes Report also understands that the agency is set to pick up Motorola Mobility PR duties in additional European markets. Motorola Mobility communications director Katie Dove confirmed the UK shift, but said that "there has been no change in our agencies in France or Germany at this time."
Weber Shandwick has also begun working on Motorola Mobility in China, after the company ended its relationship with incumbent Burson-Marsteller last year.
The firm secured AOR status for Motorola Mobility in North America in 2010, covering corporate, consumer and B2B communications.
The account move comes as a number of mobile brands rethink their global PR alignments. Samsung, another Edelman client, recently handed mobile duties to Fleishman-Hillard, while a comprehensive worldwide PR review is currently underway at Blackberry maker Research in Motion.
Motorola Mobility posted a $353m operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2012, leading analysts to question when Google's turnaround plan for the handset business would begin to bear fruit. Motorola rolled out three new handsets in towards the end of 2012, but has struggled to compete with Android competitors such as Samsung.
The company's Droid smartphone series and last year's new Razr range have seen it return to relevance, boosted by a deal with Intel. However, the brand's smartphone market share continues to struggle, particularly when compared to Apple and Samsung.