By Arun Sudhaman

LONDON: Nokia has shortlisted four agencies to pitch for its PR activities across the US, UK and head office, effectively ending the tenure of the two UK incumbents: GolinHarris and Good Relations.

The Holmes Report understands that Emanate, the sister firm of US incumbent Ketchum, has made the shortlist along with three other agencies: Fleishman-Hillard, Cohn & Wolfe, and holding group Next Fifteen. The formal RFP is expected this week, with presentations due to take place in London in late March.

Nokia made the decision to consolidate the three briefs into one last year, before putting it out to pitch. Currently, the business is handled by three agencies: Ketchum in the US, Good Relations in the UK, and GolinHarris London for international head office support.

The development will come as a blow to both GolinHarris and Good Relations. The former agency won the £300,000 head office account in 2008, while Good Relations has been servicing the £400,000 UK and Ireland brief for just over a year.

The identities of the four shortlisted agencies indicate that the US market, despite accounting for a relatively small proportion of Nokia revenues, is playing an increasingly prominent role in the pitch. Earlier this month, Nokia revealed that it would adopt Windows Phone 7 as the software platform for its flagging smartphone unit.

It is understood that Next Fifteen is to put forward a team comprised of executives from its different agencies, which include OutCast and Text 100.

Nokia communications director Doug Dawson declined to comment, but said that the company is aiming to conclude its search by April.