Ericsson has put its pounds 100 million global consumer creative account up for review as it considers moving its business away from the incumbent, Young & Rubicam Europe.
The review, which is in its early stages, is being conducted through a new-business consultant. A number of undisclosed agencies have been approached by the Swedish telecommunications giant to handle the consumer division of the business, with a shortlist expected to be reached at a later date. Y&R has been invited to repitch for the business.
The account is one of Y&R's largest global clients and is worth pounds 9 million in the UK alone.
The agency would not comment on the review.
Ericsson is reportedly unhappy with Y&R's recent branding work, which used the generic brand message: 'Make yourself heard.'
The review is not expected to affect the fellow roster agency Publicis, which picked up the phone company's business-to-business account in October last year.
Ericsson, which is the world's third-largest mobile phone company behind Nokia and Motorola, is embarking on the wide-ranging review of its mobile communications strategy following a turbulent year in its mobile phone division. The company's share price fell by 16 per cent this week.
The agency review is being overseen by Jan Ahrenbring, the global marketing director for mobile phones at Ericsson Mobile Communications. Ahrenbring was unavailable for comment as Campaign went to press.
Y&R won Ericsson's consumer account in January 1996, when it became the first global agency to be appointed by the company. The appointment of Publicis last year was a bid to boost the company's worldwide reputation as a leading manufacturer of communications systems. Publicis's London office handles strategic development for the business.
Y&R developed the pan-European campaign that broke last week for the mobile phone operator. It features two teenagers with dental problems falling in love over a plate of mashed food as they text messaged each other.