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SONY RETAINS CONSULTANT FOR AD ACCOUNT REVIEW

Move Follows Recent Split with Y&R

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Less than a month after Sony Electronics split with its longtime agency of record, WPP Group's Y&R of Irvine, Calif., the marketer has hired agency search firm Select Resources International to conduct a review.
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Select Resources
Catherine Bension, CEO of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Select Resources International confirmed Sony hired her firm. A spokesman for Sony Electronics did not return calls for comment.

Sony spent $100 million in 2004 to advertise consumer electronics products, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Y&R and Sony began working together in the late 1990s. At the time, Y&R's New York office was the account hub as much of Sony Electronics' team worked out of a Park Ridge, N.J. location. But in the past year, Sony moved its U.S. operations to Rancho Bernardo, a suburb of San Diego, and Y&R shifted its account and creative team to its Irvine location.

Y&R execs stayed behind
Many longtime executives on the agency side, including account head John Partilla, did not move with the business, which was one of the factors that led to the marketer's decision to part with Y&R, according to executives close to the situation.

Sony, once a market innovator with its Walkman portable stereo player, now faces significant competition from others, such as Apple, in the consumer electronics space.