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Nokia media AoR: Stage set for a cutthroat battle

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Nokia media AoR: Stage set for a cutthroat battle

The Nokia pitch is one of the most hotly discussed subjects in the global offices of various media agencies at present. Not only because Nokia is one of the key spending advertisers and that any piece of business in the current atmosphere is a respite, but also because of the manner in which the business went up for a review.

The conversations on the subject vary from fee issues, and some quarters of the industry have even gone on to question the credibility involved, but officially, there is not much coming. The most popular story behind the business going up for a pitch was that Nokia was renegotiating its fees and even as MediaCom had globally offered a significant compromise on the commercial terms, that was not enough for Nokia.

The mobile handset major launched the hunt for a media partner and even as GroupM took the stand that it would not participate in the pitch, it is understood that MediaCom has conveyed to the client that it would still like to continue working with Nokia. Sources close to the development inform that the decision is still based on what Nokia’s conversations with the other agencies are, and that “technically” there still is a “chance” that Nokia may partner with MediaCom again.

The global pitch is seeing a lot of action in India, given that this market is one of the top priorities for Nokia. While GroupM is not participating, Madison World agencies, too, would not participate in the pitch in India. Though the business is handled by Maxus in India, since MediaCom is more of a Madison World agency in this market, Madison, too, would not be a part of the pitch.

Most of the other key agencies, without conflicting clients, are otherwise queuing up for the business, and worldwide media agency heads are travelling to Delhi for the pitch.

Just about everyone is closely observing what the decision on this would be, and one reason for that is the question that this raises on the overall media agency business. Many media agency professionals are asking whether this competitiveness amongst agencies would allow the industry to get together and address issues, such as renegotiating of fees, that could be setbacks to the overall industry growth.

While the corridor conversations are that the bone of contention between Nokia and MediaCom was the fees, at a press meeting with some international publications, Nick Brien, CEO, Mediabrands, which is also contesting for the business, stated that that was not what the client told them.

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