Sony Global Task to 180

NEW YORK Sony has awarded a new global branding assignment to Omnicom Group’s 180 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, after a four-month review, the client confirmed.

Billings have not been determined but the agency’s work will be seen around the world, as Sony attempts to define itself beyond its product divisions. “The idea is going to drive the investment,” said a source. The review stemmed from a comprehensive global brand analysis conducted by Omnicom’s Wolff Olins [Adweek Online, Oct. 4].

The winner pitched the business with the help of Hakuhodo in Toyko, which has previously handled projects for Sony.

Sources identified other contenders as WPP Group’s Berlin Cameron United in New York and Publicis Groupe’s Fallon in London. Two other shops, WPP’s Young & Rubicam and Interpublic Group’s DraftFCB, made presentations to client executives but were eliminated in an earlier round, said sources.

“We look forward to working with 180 on this unique assignment and to tapping into [the agency’s] creative energy,” said Andrew House, chief marketing officer at Sony. “Sony’s brand is one of the company’s greatest assets, and through this project we hope to reinforce our strengths and achieve maximum leverage for all of our businesses—individually and collectively.”

House spearheaded the review, which was separate from Sony Electronics’ decision last month to award lead duties on its U.S. account to the team of 180 and Omnicom’s BBDO. Previously, the electronics business had been split between Havas’ McKinney in Durham, N.C., and independent Bagby & Co. in Chicago. To service that account, 180 is opening an office in Los Angeles.

The latest Sony win for 180 comes amid Omnicom taking a majority stake in the Amsterdam-based shop [Adweek Online, Nov. 30].

Omnicom had been eyeing 180 since late 2001 when the agency teamed with OMC’s TBWA to win Adidas’ estimated $100 million global creative account. The talks heated up in the summer, after 180 landed on the roster of Motorola, which also employs Omnicom shops BBDO, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Siegel + Gale.