Sony to split UK consumer electronics PR account

LONDON: Sony is shaking up its flagship consumer electronics PR work by splitting its press office from campaigning duties.

LONDON: Sony is shaking up its flagship consumer electronics PR work by splitting its press office from campaigning duties.

The Japanese multinational's electronics division is understood to be putting out a six-figure brief to promote its array of devices in the UK. These include Bravia TVs, Cybershot digital cameras, and VAIO laptops.

Sony Electronics consolidated much of its US PR work with Burson-Marsteller in March, selecting the firm as PR AOR for its US consumer electronics division.

Sony has worked with Cake in the UK for two years, but it put the agency on alert by dividing the account into press office management and campaign activity.

“After working successfully with Cake, we have identified a requirement for two PR briefs,” a Sony spokeswoman said. “As such, we may find ourselves working with one agency across both briefs, or with two separate agencies. Cake has been invited to re-pitch for both briefs.”

Sony's electronics division originally hired Cake for social media work in 2011 before the agency won the experiential and PR accounts later that year. The firm's work on social media and experiential is unaffected.

The brief was described as a “flagship” account by one agency head, who explained that work will focus on “restoring some of the luster” Sony's products have lost recently.

The review comes the same month that Sony UK corporate comms leader Sally Osman, who oversaw all PR functions of Sony Electronics operating units in Europe, leaves to become comms secretary for Prince Charles.

Earlier this month, PRWeek UK disclosed that Fever was hired to promote the launch of PlayStation 4.  

Cake declined to comment.

Sony timeline
May 2013:
While Sony as a whole returns to profit, executives forego bonuses worth 30% to 50% of their annual pay.

November 2012: Sony says it is cutting 10,000 jobs and selling assets to focus on mobile devices, games, and digital imaging.

August 2012: Sony unveils a portfolio of next-generation products in a bid to revitalize its electronics business.

This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.

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