VitroRobertson Lands QIS Biz

LOS ANGELES Qualcomm Internet Services has tapped VitroRobertson to do global advertising for its Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless system, which offers applications-development software for wireless devices, QIS said. The move comes as the company expands its BREW system in international markets.

VitroRobertson, an independent agency in San Diego, won the creative and media account following a review that included independents Big Bang Engineering in San Diego, the incumbent, and Davis-Elen in San Francisco. Billings were undisclosed.

Laura Trotter, director of marketing for QIS in San Diego, said the company selected VitroRobertson because of its international experience and contacts.

VitroRobertson managing director Alan Bonine said the parent companies of more than half of the shop’s clients are located either in Asia or Europe. “If you look at our clients’ business and their advertising, it’s on a much broader scale than in the U.S.,” he said. The agency has created international ads for current clients Asics athletic shoes and Taylor Guitars, as well as former clients Globalstar satellite phones, Oakley and Odyssey Golf. The shop also has done international packaging and sales materials for Kyocera Wireless.

Trotter noted that previous international advertising for BREW had been “fairly spotty” and was “certainly nothing that had a real strategy or global plan behind it.”

VitroRobertson will primarily handle print advertising, said Trotter. QIS wants to expand BREW’s trade-show presence globally and is examining advertising opportunities in conjunction with shows in countries that include China, Thailand, France and Brazil. The agency’s first work will break in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 3 at the 3G/CDG World Congress trade show.

The main targets for BREW, which launched in January 2001, are wireless operators, with a secondary audience that includes handset manufacturers and developers, Trotter said.

“We feel the BREW products are and will continue to be the most complete and effective system for wireless-data distribution and monetization for the entire value chain,” said John Robertson, partner and co-creative director at VitroRobertson, a 45-person shop that claims billings of $45 million.

Nine operators—Verizon Wireless, Alltel, Midwest Wireless and U.S. Cellular in the U.S.; China Unicom; KDDI in Japan; KTF in South Korea; Telstra in Australia; and VIVO in Brazil—use BREW technology. In addition, Asia-Pacific Broadband Wireless in Taiwan, Pelephone in Israel, Reliance Infocomm in India and Telefonica Moviles Peru have said they intend to launch BREW services, and BREW is looking at European expansion.