Publicis lands 6.4m satellite comms task

The global satellite communications company Inmarsat has hired Publicis to handle its estimated 6.4m worldwide campaign.

The appointment follows a four-way pitch which also included J Walter Thompson, Saatchi & Saatchi and Grey London.

The company is a coalition of 76 international companies, including BT. It buys satellites, launches them and controls them in orbit. This allows any two parties with the right equipment to communicate with each other. At the moment its main clients are shipping lines, airlines, aid and news organisations.

But the new advertising effort is designed to encourage wider business and consumer use and a reflection of growing market competition. No decision has yet been taken on whether to use television in the campaign but it is seen as a long-term programme to develop the brand.

Last year Inmarsat took a 15 per cent stake in ICO, a company which is developing a global handheld mobile telephone service in time for the year 2000.

It is also seeking an agency and has drawn up a shortlist of two unnamed agencies. It will make a decision early next month.

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