Newly Acquired Firm to Market Edgy, Youth-Oriented Electronics

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Sony Corp. has named Wieden & Kennedy of London the apparent winner of its estimated $50 million global Aiwa advertising account, according to the electronics marketer.

The company indicated that is in negotiations with Widen & Kennedy about the details of the deal.

Others involved in the global pitch included Team Omnicom, Strawberry Frog and and Publicis Groupe's Fallon Worldwide, New York, according to the company.

Acquired in December
After it acquired Aiwa last December, Sony announced plans to relaunch the Japanese electronics brand worldwide and position its line of audio electronic equipment as equal to Sony products, but targeting younger consumers.

The company is also conducting a second review for Aiwa's co-op advertising in the U.S.

Founded in Japan in 1951, Aiwa is often cited as the first Japanese manufacturer of cassette-tape equipment and digital audiotape products.

Aiwa was struggling with heavy competition from Chinese electronics manufacturers when Sony purchased the company last December. Since then, Sony has developed a new logo for the brand, about to be repositioned as an audio and video consumer products brand with edgy designs.

Internal marketing unit
Sony has created an internal marketing unit called Aiwa Strategic Accounts Partnership (ASAP), which is guiding the strategy. ASAP is based in San Diego, near Sony's IT Network operations.

Hiro Takahashi, who was named president of the group earlier this year, leads the unit. Mr. Takahashi is a 20-year Sony veteran who was previously a senior marketing strategist at the company's global marketing headquarters in Tokyo.

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