Sony Cuts 1 Shop, Rewards 2 Others

By Jennifer Comiteau and Joan Voight

NEW YORK–Sony Electronics has reshuffled its ad assignments and eliminated Hill, Holliday/Altschiller from its roster.

Winkler Advertising, San Francisco, is gaining additional business-to-business responsibility from Sony’s Business and Professional Group, which markets electronic and video products to corporations and broadcast companies. The shop was already a roster agency, as was Hill, Holliday/Altschiller. Winkler plans to open an office in New York to service the business, sources said.

Sony’s lead agency, Lowe & Partners/SMS here, gets responsibility for the client’s Recording Media and Energy Group, which involves Sony tapes and batteries. Hill, Holliday/Altschiller was the incumbent. A representative at the Park Ridge, N.J.-based company confirmed the shifts. The decision was prompted by the client’s desire to consolidate its advertising at fewer agencies. The assignments are expected to boost Sony billings at each shop by about $10 million, sources said.

Agency executives either declined comment or could not be reached.

Hill, Holliday/Altschiller became a Sony roster agency in 1996 when Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, which acquired Altschiller & Co. in January of that year, shifted the business to New York. That was done in part to move the account closer to the client in New Jersey. HHCC’s last campaign for Sony targeted youngsters who record compact discs to audio tapes.

Hill, Holliday/Altschiller recently created a television and radio campaign to support the introduction of Sony’s Stamina battery line (Brandweek, June 9). The ads, currently being tested in St. Louis, are tagged ‘So the beat goes on.’ The batteries are being positioned as longer lasting alternatives to leading brands.

Winkler, which launched the Sony PC, is in production on its first TV work for the client’s computer and computer accessories division, sources said……–with Judy Warner

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