It is a warning that came too late for Sony, which went into the movie business with high hopes for synergies with consumer electronics.
The writeoff may put a new urgency into Sony Electronics' search for a new agency. Sony Electronics last week named Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, and New York agencies Chiat/Day, DDB Needham Worldwide, Lowe & Partners/SMS and Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetter/Euro RSCG as finalists in its agency search. The $50 million account was resigned by Leo Burnett USA, Chicago.
In results released last week, Sony Corp. admitted it paid too much for its 1989 acquisition of Columbia and took a $2.7 billion write-off for the acquisition and another $510 million to abandon some projects as part of its quarterly earnings. Sony reported a $3.2 billion loss based on income of $9.9 billion, with sales up 3.7% from last year. The loss compared with a $2.3 billion profit for the quarter last year.