Universal McCann Takes Sony

NEW YORK — Universal McCann has been tapped to handle media planning and buying for Sony Corporation of America, which consolidated its estimated $600 million North America account after a review, the client said.

The agency was one of three roster shops that participated. The others, Starcom MediaVest, Mediaedge:CIA, and OMD, which pitched with TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., were either cut or withdrew in earlier rounds of the process. Universal McCann beat out Arnell Group, which pitched with PHD, also in New York, for the account.

The media assignment for the New York-based client covers Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment (network television), and Sony of Canada. It does not include media duties for Sony PlayStation, which remain at OMD in New York (broadcast buying) and TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey., Calif. (planning and print buying). Creative duties for each division are handled by various agencies.

SCA chairman and CEO Howard Stringer said in a statement. “The concentrated leverage of all of our companies will help to drive down costs. And with one agency handling all the media buying and planning,our operating companies will benefit from better coordinated messaging.”

The SCA assignment will be handled by Universal McCann’s offices in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Montreal.

The win is the fourth since December for McCann-Erickson WorldGroup divisions. Its McCann-Erickson Worldwide won the $40-50 million T.G.I. Friday’s account in December, and this month it and Universal McCann landed the overseas creative and media assignments from American Airlines ($130 million) in a consolidation. This week, McCann-Erickson won the $30 million Major League Baseball account without a review.