Nokia Shifts Global Media to Carat

Nokia confirmed today that it has selected Carat, part of Aegis Group, as its new lead global resource for media planning and buying duties.

Estimated global ad spending by the client is $500 million. Nokia of late has struggled to sell phones in the U.S, and it spent less than $10 million on domestic ads in each of the past two years, per Nielsen. In ’06, it spent $45 million, and the client’s ’05 U.S. ad outlay hit $70 million, per Nielsen.

The decision came after a review that included Carat and Publicis Groupe’s Zenith Optimedia. The incumbent was WPP’s MediaCom.

“We were looking for a partner that offered digital media excellence to accelerate Nokia’s move into solutions marketing,” said Pekka Rantala, Nokia svp, global head of marketing, in a statement. “We believe that innovation will be an important component to improve the effectiveness of media communications in the future. Carat will add value especially in strategic planning and offer strong digital capabilities.”

Carat’s assignment covers all countries in which the telecom giant markets its products.

The transition will be completed in the majority of regions in the third quarter of 2009, with the exception of India and Middle East/North Africa, which have an extended transition period.

This story updates and corrects an earlier item, noting that the incumbent was in fact WPP’s MediaCom.

Nielsen Business Media