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Is Sony Shake-Up Taking Shape?

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NEW YORK - Despite denials from the client, a variety of industry sources said late last week that Sony Corp. of America is planning to hold hardball compensation meetings with its agencies that could lead to a dramatically different media and creative agency lineup for the company. The intention of the meetings, according to the sources, is to force a parting of the ways with Leo Burnett Co., which handles consumer products, and McCann-Erickson, which has entertainment, and unbundle Sony's $300 million-plus ad budget. Assignments then would go to media services and small-to-midsize creative agencies. 'There's no basis of fact to that. None at all,' said Jeff Brooks, senior vp/advertising & marketing communications for the company. 'We're very pleased with Burnett and McCann.' Brooks also denied reports that Sony was working with the consulting duo of Michael Gross and Peggy Yervanian, who are partners at Gaynor Media Corp. here.
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