Chinese telecommunications company ZTE has appointed Publicis Shanghai to handle its advertising business with a view to starting project work in the UK. Publicis pitched against Leo Burnett and TBWA/Shanghai to win the account.
The state-owned company, China’s largest listed telecoms equipment supplier, was talking to advertising agencies in London earlier this year to boost its profile in Europe (MW January 13).
It is thought ZTE was talking to Arc, M&C Saatchi and TBWA/London with a view to drawing up a shortlist for a European brief, but the process was delayed and the company has appointed Publicis Shanghai to work on the account.
ZTE, which is based in Shenzhen in southern China but has its European headquarters in London, has not worked with agencies outside Asia before, but it is thought to want to adapt to Western marketing.
It is among the front-runners to sponsor the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, which it sees as a chance to build an international profile.
The company is just breaking into the UK and is thought to be working with a number of UK firms on forthcoming projects.