Sony Playstation's Got a New Creative Agency: BBH, New York

Deutsch, Los Angeles Loses Account; Had Worked on Business for Six Years

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After a big high from the Super Bowl --in which it had more ads than any other agency-- Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch got some tough news today.

After six years of working with Deutsch's Los Angeles office, Sony Playstation announced it would shift its creative account to Publicis Groupe's BBH New York.

The move comes amid speculation that Playstation plans to announce the fourth iteration of its gaming console later this month. The selection of BBH as its new agency follows a fast-moving review that included a quartet of finalists including Deutsch, which defended the business. "All of the participating agencies, 180LA, Anomaly, BBH New York and Deutsch presented outstanding ideas during the process," said Guy Longworth, SVP-PlayStation brand marketing, in a statement. "But after careful consideration, BBH, New York is the best partner for our business."

The Playstation brand, which falls under Foster City, Calif.-based Sony Computer Entertainment America, was also concurrently running a media review. Those duties are also handled by Deutsch, but according to one person familiar with the situation a winner in that pitch has not yet been determined.

PlayStation's ad spending has dipped considerably since Deutsch won the account from well over $100 million to less than $50 million. The marketer spent $48.9 million on domestic measured media in 2011, which represents a 20% drop from spending in 2010, according to the Ad Age DataCenter.

Either way, it's a good sign for BBH, which had a rocky couple of years marked by management changes and not much in the way of new business. Going forward it will have oversight of ad duties for Playstation in the U.S. and Canadian markets. It follows a significant assignment from Unilever for Dove the agency picked up a few months ago.

Deutsch representatives declined to comment on the loss of the account. It's a downer for the agency after a great string of ads it created for the Super Bowl this past week for clients such as Taco Bell, GoDaddy and Volkswagen. It also comes on the heels of a solid 2012 during which it grew revenue 6%.

"Deutsch has been an incredible partner for PlayStation over the last six years, and has delivered stand-out creative and strategy for the PlayStation brand in the US," Mr. Longworth said. "We would like to thank them for their dedicated service to our business."

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