Saatchi & Saatchi has won Sony’s &£50m European account, dealing a severe blow to incumbent DDB Needham Worldwide.
Sony made the appointment last week after a head-on battle between the two agencies at Sony’s UK headquarters in Weybridge. This followed a five-way pitch between Saatchi, DDB, J Walter Thompson, Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO and Young & Rubicam – which handles Sony in the US – at Sony Europe’s Amsterdam office.
The account, which covers Sony’s consumer electronics products, including DVD, Discman, camcorders, hi-fi and televisions, will be run from Saatchi’s London offices.
The agency’s win has been greeted as a “new dawn” for Sony, which has been with DDB for five years and has worked with them in 39 markets.
One industry source said: “This change is long overdue and should have happened 18 months ago. There is a general feeling within the industry that Sony has lost its way.
“It has successfully pursued niche markets with Playstation and MiniDisc but its overall brand image has slipped away.”
Sony marketing communications director Geoff Muge refused to comment on the reasons behind the change, saying: “We do review things from time to time.”
Marcus Brown, Saatchi’s UK new business director, says: “This win is an affirmation of what we believe in – that we can do great creative work for international clients.”
Sony’s media account has yet to be decided on. It is poised between Zenith and OMD. Saatchi’s first work for the company is not expected until early next year.