It appears that Nokia’s media agency decisions for India would not always be same as its global decision. In 2006, when Nokia had last reviewed its media duties, the mobile device maker decided on Mediacom, as its global media agency of record (AoR). However, due to the changes at Mediacom India at the time, the media mandate for Nokia in India ended up falling in Maxus’ lap.
Three years later, when Nokia embarked on another global media AoR review, a company release stated that Nokia will partner with Aegis Media’s Carat as “the single global media partner to handle its media planning and buying”.
However, once again in India, the decision is different. Nokia continues to be with Maxus in India. The other market that has seen a similar decision is the Middle East and North Africa, where Mediacom would continue handling the business. The official Nokia release stated: “The appointment of Carat will be on a global basis for all countries. 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.”
Officials from any of the agencies or Nokia were not available for comments at the time of filing the report but sources close to the development inform exchange4media that the Carat’s current infrastructure in India is one of the reasons why the account has stayed with Maxus in India. At present, there is no clarity on how long is the ‘extended transition period’ for India.
Nokia’s pitch process was preceded by various international reports mentioning that the bane of contention between Mediacom and Nokia was the commercial rate, and that Mediacom had offered the lowest commercial fee that it was willing to work on, but Nokia didn’t agree with those terms. Nokia called for a pitch following this, and while Mediacom’s offer stayed on the table, the agency, or any of the GroupM agencies, in India’s case even Madison World companies, didn’t actively participate in the Nokia media pitch.
While various global agencies were in the fray for this business, and this included Universal McCann and PHD, the last leg of this race was fought closely between ZenithOptimedia and Carat.
In the prepared statement from Nokia, Pekka Rantala, Senior Vice President & Global Head – Marketing, Nokia, said, “We were looking for a partner that offered digital media excellence to accelerate Nokia’s move into solutions marketing. We believe that innovation will be an important component to improve the effectiveness of media communications in the future. We were impressed by the quality of the agencies’ responses and the depth of capabilities that the agencies showed in being able to contribute to Nokia's business needs. Carat will add value especially in strategic planning and offer strong digital capabilities.”