Mobile brand BenQ’s UK future in doubt after insolvency claim

A question mark is hanging over the future of the BenQ Mobile brand in the UK after the company pulled the plug on its German operation and filed for insolvency.

Taiwan’s BenQ took over Siemens’ struggling mobile division last year but said last week that it could not afford to pump more capital into the business because there was only a “very slim chance” of turning it around.

A spokesman for the company in the UK says: “BenQ Mobile UK is a separate legal entity. It is business as usual, regardless of the situation in Germany. It just means that we will report into Taipei rather than Germany.”

Philip Rambech was appointed to run BenQ in the UK last October. The brand’s top marketer is Louise Forbes and its advertising agency in the UK is McCann Erickson.

The decision to file for insolvency in Germany also casts doubt on the appointment of TBWA/Worldwide as the brand’s global advertising agency. It won the 25m account earlier this year from Springer & Jacoby (MW August 10) but it was being led by TBWA Germany.

Rambech told Marketing Week earlier this year that Siemens had not been strong enough in the UK and had focused too much on pre- pay and entry-level models (MW January 19). He said at the time that at least one-third of the products from BenQ this year would be 3G compatible.

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