Bartle Bogle Hegarty is being tipped as the favourite to pick up
the creative assignment for the new mobile phone joint venture between
Ericsson and Sony.
Industry sources say the agency is likely to be given the nod following
its capture of Ericsson's £100 million global account nine months
BBH is thought likely to beat Saatchi & Saatchi, which handles Sony's
mobile products in the UK, because of its close relationship with Philip
Vanhoutte, Ericsson's global vice-president of marketing and
communications for the consumer products division. Vanhoutte is being
tipped as the marketing chief for the combined operation.
Ericsson and Sony announced last month that they were merging their
mobile phone handset businesses in an attempt to secure a leading
position as the industry moves towards the next generation of mobile
The deal to establish Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications comes as both
companies attempt to reduce costs in the face of falling demand for
handsets. Under the agreement, the pair will jointly design, brand and
distribute the devices.
The venture will give the Swedish company, Ericsson, access to Japanese
knowledge of third-generation technology. Meanwhile, Sony is keen to
make more headway in the global handset market, a sector in which it has
trailed behind its rivals. Its problems have been exacerbated by a
string of recent recalls because of software defects.
The joint venture is expected to account for about 10 per cent of the
world handset market behind Finland's Nokia, with 34.8 per cent, and
Motorola in the US, which has 14.8 per cent.