Arun Sudhaman 16 May 2011 // 11:00PM GMT
ESPOO--Nokia is to appoint Next Fifteen to handle its seven-figure PR business across the US, UK and its global HQ in Finland, following an arduous six-month review.
The Holmes Report understands that the mobile phone company has opted for a group solution that includes Next Fifteen agencies Text 100 and Bite Communications, following a final round of pitching against Ketchum agency Emanate. Sister Next Fifteen firm 463 Communications will also play a role in handling the business.
The decision means the end of Ketchum's role as US incumbent. Earlier this year, the Holmes Report revealed that Nokia had dropped international agency-of-record GolinHarris and UK incumbent Good Relations from the pitch process.
Those developments left four agencies in the pitch process: Next Fifteen, Emanate, Fleishman-Hillard and Cohn & Wolfe. However, F-H removed itself from the running because of conflict concerns, while Cohn & Wolfe's recent win of LG Mobile effectively ended its contention for the account.
While initial estimates placed the value of the Nokia business at approximately £3 million, it is understood that Nokia has revised this sum downwards during tough procurement negotiations. Other points of contention were understood to be conflict policy and resourcing levels.
The review outcome was also slowed by the pace of corporate change at Nokia, following its decision to adopt Windows Phone 7 as the software platform for its flagging smartphone unit.