Nokia Looks at 6 Shops

NEW YORK Nokia will brief six semifinalists next Friday in the estimated $120 million-plus global review of its mobile phone business, sources said.

Those meetings will take place at client headquarters in Espoo, Finland. In the hunt are WPP Group’s Grey (teamed with siblings Bates Asia and Rainey Kelly Campbell/Y&R in London) and Omnicom Group’s DDB, as well as independents Mother and Wieden + Kennedy, Publicis Groupe-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty and WPP’s JWT, sources said. The shops are all pitching from multiple offices.

After about three weeks worth of work sessions, the client will cut to a shortlist of finalists, sources said.

Grey, which has been on the Nokia roster since 1986, handles the client’s mobile phone advertising in the U.S. and Europe, while DDB has the account in Latin America. Grey also works on Nokia’s enterprise solutions account, and Interpublic Group’s Lowe handles Nokia’s multimedia account. Those businesses are not part of the review. Bates is a roster shop in Asia.

WPP’s MediaCom handles the bulk of Nokia’s media planning and buying, but those duties are unaffected.

The company spent about $40 million-plus in U.S. media last year on ads for its mobile-phone advertising, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Overseas spending on advertising for its mobile phones is likely more than $80 million, sources said.

Executives at the agencies either could not be reached or referred calls to the client, which did not return calls.

This story corrects and replaces an item posted Feb. 23, noting that Bates remains part of the Grey pitch team that also includes Y&R.