The Sony account has been a topic of speculation since the consumer-electronics manufacturer split with WPP Group's Y&R in February 2005. A review held after the split resulted in a roster of three agencies: Havas' McKinney, Publicis Groupe's Fallon Worldwide and independent Bagby & Co. Fallon split with Sony last November, and Chief Marketing Officer Mike Fasulo had been expected to once again shake up the roster. It was immediately unclear whether McKinney will remain on the roster.
Sony Electronics spent $56 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2005, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
BBDO and 180 also work together for Motorola, where Stuart Redsun, Sony Electronics'senior VP-corporate marketing who reports to Mr. Fasulo, once worked.
Sony's biggest division, electronics, responsible for about 70% of its revenue, has had its ups and downs over the past few years. Its LCD flat-panel TVs, digital cameras and camcorders, and computers have some of the strongest brands -- Bravia and Wega, CyberShot and Handycam, and Vaio -- and the healthiest market shares in the electronics industry. Sony, however, has struggled in the digital-music arena.
BBDO declined comment. The other agencies referred calls to a Sony representative who declined comment.