Mobile operators fund global GSM campaign

The GSM Association, the mobile trade body that represents most of the world's mobile phone operators, is launching a global multi-million-pound marketing campaign next year to promote mobile services across the world.

The trade body has given advertising agency Perspectives Red Cell and PR agency Hill and Knowlton, both WPP-owned, the brief to develop the campaign, following a competitive pitch.

The marketing activity, which is the biggest of its kind, is being funded by the world's leading mobile phone companies. It is intended to coincide with the GSM Association achieving its billionth connection early next year. It will feature the strapline 'We've got the whole world talking' and will run in several continents over the next few months.

The campaign will promote the benefits of different mobile services, such as SMS, and photo messaging, and will run across a variety of media, including TV and press advertising.

It will also aim to build awareness of next-generation services such as 3G, which will become widely available next year and need to be a major success for mobile operators if they are to recoup the billions spent on 3G licences.

Perspectives Red Cell chief executive Miles Murphy said the campaign would be tailored for different markets and would look to raise awareness of GSM technology "in both existing and developing markets". He added that it had developed a 'tool kit', which would enable the campaign to be deployed differently at a local level.

GSM is the operating technology used by 70% of the world's mobile operators, but notably is not dominant in the US. The campaign is intended to change this and position GSM as the best option for new and emerging mobile countries.

The GSM Association has also tied up with global news network CNN to broadcast a series of vignettes highlighting examples of the ways in which having a mobile phone has changed or saved lives.

Media buying for the campaign will be negotiated on a local level and will differ according to the market requirements and conditions of each country.

The GSM Association represents more than 600 GSM mobile operators in 200 countries worldwide.

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