Sun Micro Selects Butler Shine Stern

LOS ANGELES Sun Microsystems has selected independent Butler Shine Stern & Partners for its ad account following a review, the agency confirmed.

The Sausalito, Calif.-based shop prevailed in a competition that included Godfrey Q & Partners, also an independent, and Grey Global Group’s Grey, both in San Francisco; and WPP Group’s Cole & Weber/Red Cell and Interpublic Group’s Sedgwick Rd., both in Seattle. MDC Partners’ Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, San Francisco, pitched in earlier rounds, sources said.

“It was an important win for us in a number of respects,” said Greg Stern, agency president. “Perceptually, and in reality, it provides us the opportunity to work on major corporate and technology advertising on a large scale.” He added that the agency would help Sun capitalize on its momentum and “establish their relevance in the market again.”

Stern said the shop of 85 will be adding people to handle the new business. He said the win is a “proof of concept” for the agency that has remained independent while acquiring SF Interactive, and running in-house design and strategic consulting divisions to bolster the creative department.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based computer manufacturer spends about $12 million annually on ads, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

The client and consultancy Select Resources International, which oversaw the search process, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Since September 2003, when Sun left WPP’s JWT in San Francisco, the creative assignment has been divided among several shops, including Grey. Sun split with one of its principal agency partners, Arnell Group in New York, four months ago.

Media chores, not part of the review, stay with Publicis Groupe’s Starcom Worldwide [Adweek Online, Oct. 20, 2003].

This article updates an earlier post with comments from the winning agency.