MediaCom(竞立媒体) is poised to scoop Nokia's US$150 million Asia-Pacific media buying and planning business, which would hand 10-year incumbent ZenithOptimedia(实力传播) a severe loss in the region.

At press time, the GroupM network was reportedly engaged in final negotiations with Nokia, following a four-month review that also involved OMD and Universal McCann.

With an official announcement pending, it is already believed that MediaCom has been informed of its success.

"All the individual parties have made their decision," said a source familiar with the review, while noting that MediaCom's status as Nokia's European incumbent would bring some benefits to Nokia's Asia communications.

"There are already so many global projects from Asia and inward-bound from Europe, so it helps if the media strategy is global," added the source.

"Having the same media agency around the world just makes it a little easier to network and work with." The win is expected to provide MediaCom with critical mass in Asia — a region in which it has traditionally been dwarfed by its MNC peers.

Previously a part of Grey Global Group, MediaCom entered the GroupM fold after WPP acquired it in 2004.

"The GroupM tie-up probably swayed things in India and China, where bulk is important," continued the source. "But in Singapore and Beijing, it would have been more about people and service structure."

Nokia conducted a comprehensive review of agency capabilities since initiating the pitch, its first in almost a decade, for Asia.

"They've probably got the most complex task of any brand. They need a really good media partner to understand segmenting the market, and handle 40 launches a year."

GroupM, Zenith and Nokia declined to comment.

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