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BBH, Sony Ericsson Split

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NEW YORK Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications has split with Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which has handled a global creative assignment for the client since 2001.

BBH in London managed the business, and the agency's New York office had contributed work in the past. BBH's ads ran in key markets around the world, though Sony Ericsson also employs regional shops, such as Dentsu, which creates ads for India and China.

BBH, 49 percent owned by Publicis Groupe, attributed the split to creative differences while a client representative said it stemmed from a "rethinking of our branding and advertising strategy" as the 50-50 joint venture of Sony and Ericsson approaches its fifth anniversary, in October.

London-based Sony Ericsson is still deciding what to do with the assignment, according to the rep. A review is a possibility, though the rep declined to comment on future plans. Billings were not disclosed.

BBH's last work, a TV campaign featuring K800 Cyber-Shot camera phones, broke last week in the Asia-Pacific region and will roll out in Europe next. That effort, tagged "Never miss a shot," will run through late autumn, the rep said.

BBH won the business in early 2001 after a review that also involved Young & Rubicam, TBWA Worldwide and AMV BBDO. At the time, billings were estimated at $100 million.

AMV BBDO has since become a global creative resource for Motorola (a Sony Ericsson rival) as part of a broader agreement between Motorola and AMV parent Omnicom Group [Adweek Online, March 31]. Under the arrangement, BBDO in New York acts as "central coordinating agency" and Motorola uses other Omnicom shops, such as Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco and Siegel + Gale in New York, as needed.