Aiwa Mulls Finalists

Aiwa America has whittled its contenders list to three agencies in the review for its estimated $5-6 million ad account, sources said.
Sophia Dishian, communications manager for the Mahwah, N.J.-based client, confirmed two finalists in the review: incumbent Holland Advertising and Gigante Vaz & Partners, both in New York.
Sources said a third, undisclosed agency is also involved. Dishian declined to comment on any possible unnamed contender.
DeVito/Verdi, New York, was eliminated after having made the short list, Dishian said, and the review is now closed. Aiwa initially spoke with eight shops.
Holland has handled the account for the past 15 years. While Aiwa has occasionally “re-evaluated” their relationship, according to Dishian, this is the first time Holland has been asked to officially defend the business.
The account involves creative and media buying and planning duties for the entire line of Aiwa consumer electronics. Dishian said Aiwa is pleased with Holland’s work, but wants to “see what’s going on out there that we may be missing out on. We’re not the kind of company that does the same old thing.”
Holland’s most recent TV spot for the client positioned Aiwa’s Mini Theater as the premier home entertainment center for Generation X. It was tagged, “Turn on your TV.”
Aiwa is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corp., although the two compete head-to-head in America. Sony and Philips Electronics top the category.
Sales for Aiwa, which hired a new marketing director, Todd Schrader, in April of this year, are stable, Dishian said.