Sony PlayStation Selects Carat as New Media Agency

Move Follows Creative Review, Shift From Interpublic Group's Deutsch to Publicis Groupe's BBH New York

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Sony PlayStation has shifted its media business from Interpublic Group shops to Aegis' Carat.

The move follows a creative review and selection this month that saw the business move from IPG's Deutsch to Publicis Groupe 's BBH New York.

Deutsch had also supported media for the PlayStation brand, which falls under Foster City, Calif.-based Sony Computer Entertainment America. Sony Corp. has a broader relationship with Interpublic's UM, which has supported the company's various business units -- Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Canada -- for more than 10 years.

The agencies didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The brand has decreased its spending considerably since Deutsch won the business six years ago, 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 .

When the company selected BBH, Guy Longworth, SVP-PlayStation brand marketing, said: "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. We would like to thank them for their dedicated service to our business."

Despite the loss, Deutsch had a solid 2012, with the addition of work for Taco Bell, GoDaddy and others.

For Carat, it's one more piece of business after a wave of big wins last year, such as General Motors and Macy's . PlayStation will add to a portfolio of young, cool brands on the West Coast, including GoPro and Red Bull.

Last week, the brand announced the launch of PlayStation 4, which touts new sharing features, as well as a "second-screen" app for users with iPhone, iPad and AndroidTM-based phones and tablets.

The move comes as AT&T, Verizon and Time Warner Cable gear up for a push to deliver video games directly to TVs, a strategy shift that poses a threat to traditional consoles such as the PlayStation, Wii and Xbox.

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