Wieden + Kennedy and Nokia, one of the agency’s largest clients, have split after working together since 2007.
The move comes after reports surfaced in May that said the Finnish mobile phone group sent out RFIs for the global smart phone business handled by Wieden, London, and had shifted its mobile phone assignment to Nokia roster shop, Fallon, also in London. At the time, the agency’s managing director Neil Christie denied that speculation, saying his Nokia client told him it was untrue.
Christie declined comment on the client split; Fallon execs could not be reached.
This week, the agency was still posting new Nokia work on its agency blog, Welcome to Optimism.
The second quarter was disastrous for Nokia as Apple and Samsung overtook the longtime volume leader in a global industry where smartphone shipments grew an impressive 76 percent annually.
Nokia has increasingly been shifting away from AOR relationships toward awarding project assignments among its existing agency partners. In addition to Fallon, JWT has been a network agency for Nokia, implementing work in local markets. Nokia’s digital work is divided between R/GA and Isobar.
Nokia reps offered little explanation about the circumstances surrounding Wieden’s departure from the company’s agency roster beyond a statement from Steven Overman, Nokia’s vp for marketing creation: “The last six months has marked an important shift in our business strategy. This has naturally resulted in us continuing to evolve the relationships with our wide network of agency partners.”