SEOUL--LG Mobile has kicked off an annual review of its global PR assignment, amid plans for an ambitious turnaround of the struggling unit.

The Holmes Report understands that pitches took place yesterday in Seoul. WPP siblings Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe won the business one year ago, with Burson taking charge of HQ duties, and Cohn assigned Europe and North America.

Sources familiar with the situation told the Holmes Report that Cohn & Wolfe is no longer involved in the assignment. The $500k brief focuses largely on strategy and planning for the mobile brand’s worldwide product communications.

LG Electronics global communications director Ken Hong confirmed the process but noted that the brief does not involve media relations. "The incumbent agency was invited to participate again so it's safe to say this review is not due to any dissatisfaction with the current service," he added.  

LG’s mobile offering has struggled to match the smartphone advances of rivals such as Apple, Samsung and HTC. By the end of 2011 the company had dropped to fifth among all mobile phone manufacturers, with a 3.6 percent market share, and had lost nearly $1bn before recently returning to profit.

The company is hoping to revive its phone offering by developing a more “stylish” range of products. Reuters has also reported that LG is seeking industry alliances in a bid to accelerate the turnaround.

The pitch follows parent company LG Electronics’ review of its global corporate and product communications. LG Electronics is expected to retain incumbent LG-One, a partnership of WPP firms Ogilvy PR and Hill & Knowlton, for the lucrative account.

Earlier this year, meanwhile, LG Display shifted its global PR account from Hill & Knowlton to Burson-Marsteller.