Inmarsat’s global account up for grabs in privatisation reshuffle

Inmarsat, the UK-based mobile satellite communications company, is reviewing its global account out of Publicis following its decision to privatise next year.

Inmarsat, the UK-based mobile satellite communications company, is

reviewing its global account out of Publicis following its decision to

privatise next year.



Inmarsat - which is an inter-governmental organisation consisting of 84

national telecommunications companies, including BT - is understood to

have drawn up a shortlist of four agencies for its global account.



The review comes on the back of last month’s announcement that Inmarsat

will be privatised in April 1999, creating a new company with

headquarters in London. The company will be floated two years after

privatisation.



The agency trawl is being conducted by Caroline Shallamo, Inmarsat’s

director of communications. Budgets have yet to be finalised.



Gavin Trevitt, the business communications manager at Inmarsat, said:

’This seemed like a good time to see what the rest of the advertising

industry is doing. We just wanted to put our heads above the

parapet.’



Inmarsat is the leading provider of communications services for areas of

the globe beyond the reach of cellular phones. It has seen its

subscriber base increase from 50,000 in 1996 to 125,000 this year. Its

services are used mainly by shipping companies, airlines, oil and gas

companies and the news media, although it is trying to raise demand

among individuals.



The company hired Publicis to handle its global advertising business in

January 1996 after a pitch against Saatchi & Saatchi, Grey Advertising

and J. Walter Thompson.



The agency created a dollars 20 million global television and print

campaign two years ago, spearheaded by a 60-second TV commercial with

the line: ’Make contact with other worlds via Inmarsat.’



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