Sony Dreams Up Contenders List

Having parted ways last week with Lowe & Partners/SMS after three years, Sony Electronics is inviting five to 10 shops to pitch its $35 million account, even if some of those selected have conflicts.
Agencies expected to be invited include roster shop Young & Rubicam as well as Ammirati Puris Lintas, BBDO, DDB Needham and McCann-Erickson, all in New York, sources said. APL already handles RCA, while BBDO lists Pioneer on its roster and McCann does work for Motorola.
“They certainly would be agencies in the running. We haven’t ruled anyone out,” said Michael Cabot, a Sony representative. A final decision is expected in September.
The agencies will likely be pitching creative for Sony’s new FD Trinitron flat-tube televisions, the centerpiece of its fourth-quarter product offerings, Cabot said. Media duties are also included in the review.
The impetus for the split with Lowe, said Cabot, was the client’s satisfaction with the global campaign from Y&R and Dentsu in Japan, tagged “Do you dream in Sony?” [Adweek, Jan. 26].
Sources also indicated that the recent departure of Sony Electronics president Carl Yankowski, a Lowe champion, played a role. “Historically, Sony has been a great brand but a difficult client,” said one source.
“We gave them great creative, sound strategies, smart people, a lot of passion, and lunch. Obviously, they were looking for something else,” said Lee Garfinkel, Lowe’s co-chairman. Lowe’s work for Sony won at numerous awards shows, including the Andy Awards and The One Show.