The fate of the India region for the recently concluded Sony Corporation pitch for Asia is finally known. Unlike the decision taken for the region, where Mediaedge:cia has been awarded the media planning and buying mandate for the electronics major, in India the duties continue to be with Lintas Media Group (LMG). LMG defended and retained the Rs 100 crore plus business following a fresh pitch process in India.
LMG had won this business first in 2006, when Sony was getting aggressive in its growth graph in India. At that time, the business was awarded to Interaction – the brand name is now defunct after the restructuring that Lintas Media Group underwent to create ‘Collectives’. In September 2007, Sony Corporation called for a regional pitch, and in the four-month long review, the business was closely fought between OMD and Mediaedge:cia. The other agencies involved in the pitch included Universal McCann and ZenithOptimedia.
In January 2008, Sony Corporation finally decided on partnering with MEC in the region, and the decision was applicable across all Asian markets. However, even at that time, there was no clarity on what Sony would decide for India. The India region saw its own round of pitching with the same set of agencies, the only addition here was the participation of incumbent Lintas Media Group.
Sudha Natrajan, Vice-President, LMG, said, “Somewhere, I think we knew we would get the business in India. Sony is a unique client. Being a Japanese company, they have a very different way of working, and we have worked extremely hard on perfecting our ways to be part of that system. At the time that we were appointed, Sony had also chalked out a very aggressive growth plan for themselves in India, and in the last two years, we have matched them and supported them in achieving all their targets.”
“We are very excited to be partnering with them in their future growth and consolidation stages in India now,” added Natrajan.
Some of the Sony Corporation brands that have been very active in the past year include Sony Bravia, Sony Viao, the handy-cam and the digi-cam products, and Sony Xplod.