Ogilvy and Burson vie for Sony's dollars 2.5m biz

Woodcliff Lake, NJ: Sony has yanked the vast majority of its onsumer electronic business - an assignment worth an estimated dollars 2.5 million in annualized fee revenue - from agency of record Mindstorm Communications (formerly Technology Solutions) and placed the account up for review.

Woodcliff Lake, NJ: Sony has yanked the vast majority of its onsumer electronic business - an assignment worth an estimated dollars 2.5 million in annualized fee revenue - from agency of record Mindstorm Communications (formerly Technology Solutions) and placed the account up for review.

Woodcliff Lake, NJ: Sony has yanked the vast majority of its onsumer electronic business - an assignment worth an estimated dollars 2.5 million in annualized fee revenue - from agency of record Mindstorm Communications (formerly Technology Solutions) and placed the account up for review.

Only Burson-Marsteller and Ogilvy PR have been invited to pitch for the business, which includes all of the AV (video and audio products) and IT (business and computer products) lines. Interpublic Group-owned Mindstorm, which will not participate in the pitch for the main account, will continue handling Sony's storage business and the new eMarker, a service enabling users to record radio songs using a PC.

Sony spokesperson Grace Ann Arnold would not disclose the reasons behind the split with Mindstorm, saying only: 'Sony does not discuss its business relationships with vendors.' However, Mindstorm president Wendy Simmons, who has worked with Sony for eight years, said the parting was amicable.

'We worked together for such a long time, and with Sony's internal reorganization six months ago, it just seemed like time for a new perspective,' Simmons explained, referring to Sony's decision to consolidate pieces of its computer and personal audio/video business in San Diego under the Sony CEG banner six months ago. 'Also, we're small, and it's difficult to be everything all the time to an account that size.'

Simmons also claimed that the Sony loss would not result in layoffs for her agency, which currently has about 50 employees in New York, San Francisco, DC and San Diego and is now officially part of the Golin/Harris family.

Arnold said Sony will hear initial presentations from the two contenders at the end of October and hopes to decide on a new agency by January 1.



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