Aktivate PR signs up Nokia account, thanks to links with Publicis Groupe

Homeboyz Entertainment’s PR subsidiary, Aktivate, has signed up the Nokia mobile phones account through its association with global communications and advertising outfit Publicis Groupe.

Publicis, through its regional unit, Publicis Africa, successfully pitched for the Nokia mobile phones account and will offer the communications services to the client in specific markets and countries in Africa through the local affiliate within its network.

In Kenya, Aktivate is the local affiliate of Publicis Africa and will therefore be in charge of handling the HMD Global account, the manufacturers of the Nokia-branded mobile devices.

In June last year, Homeboyz partnered with Publicis Groupe in order to enable it transform into an integrated marketing and communications agency and offer an expanded array of services including PR, digital communication and media buying among others. The deal was also meant to enable Homeboyz tap into Publicis Groupe’s global footprint, knowledge base and best practices.

The Publicis Groupe comprises of Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis Worldwide, Leo Burnett, Arc, Starcom, MediaVest, Zenith, Optimedia and DigitasLBi, and serves a wide range of clients.

In Africa, the Publicis Group has 52 partner agencies and equity stakes in 20 of the agencies outside of South Africa coupled with majority ownership in a further 11 agencies in South Africa.

Already, Aktivate (at times called Publicis One when handling multinational accounts) is expected to handle media relations during the launch of the new range of Nokia devices set for today – Thursday July 27.

When HMD Global announced the relaunch of the Nokia phone brand – including a redesigned version of the once-popular Nokia 3310 – at the Mobile World Congress in February, it worked with Engage PR, an affiliate of Burson Marsteller, as the PR partner.

This led to speculation that Engage PR would sign up the Nokia account through its association with Burson Marsteller. However, it is now clear that this was not possible as Burson Marsteller has been beaten to the Nokia account by Publicis Africa.


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