O&M on alert as Motorola reviews $100m global ad account

LONDON - Motorola, the world's second-biggest mobile phone manufacturer, is preparing for a global review of its $100m (£51.9m) creative account, which is handled by WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.

The move is being led by Motorola's senior vice-president and chief marketing officer, Geoffrey Frost, who is making appointments to see rival agency networks.

Leslie Dance, the vice-president of mobile device marketing, denied conducting a global creative review. However, she added: "Never say never, as things do change, but at the moment we are not reviewing the business."

The technology giant, which is worth £5.25m to O&M in the UK, is operating in a fiercely competitive market. Its key global competitors, Samsung and Nokia, have  recently reviewed their advertising accounts, appointing WPP Group's JWT and Interpublic's Lowe Worldwide respectively. LG Electronics is also reviewing its global ad account and is looking to consolidate into a single network.

Nokia is the biggest mobile phone-maker in the world, with a 30.7% share. Motorola has 15.4% of the market, followed by Samsung with 12.6%.

Motorola has already reviewed its US media, shifting it into Carat from Universal McCann earlier this month. Insiders say Motorola recently began a procurement drive, hoping to slash costs.

O&M landed the consolidated $400m Motorola account in 2000, following a review that also included McCann Erickson Worldwide and Leo Burnett. However, just six months later, Motorola announced it was slashing its ad budget by more than 70%, cutting around $250m off its planned spend.

Briefed to create a global brand image that included each of its diverse businesses, which range from handsets to pagers and digital set-top boxes, O&M launched the "intelligence everywhere" campaign in 2002.

This introduced the Moto theme, with the word "Moto" either used alone, for brand advertising, or paired with another word that promotes a particular product attribute.

While the main account is run from New York, local O&M offices create adaptations on the "Moto" theme. In the UK, activity includes the sponsorship of ITV1 movies, with creative featuring "My MotoMovies" -- short films created by people on their mobile phones.

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