Sony Corporation's seven-month investigation into the concept of media buying and planning consolidation is finally evolving into a $1 billion global review, the largest so far this year.
Sony is putting together a team of clients from its different divisions that will serve as the review panel. It is unclear if the Japanese entertainment giant will seek one global shop or divide its media planning and buying business geographically among several agencies.
Since last February, Sony has held discussions with Omnicom, Bcom3, Publicis, Interpublic Group of Cos. and WPP media executives in the U.S. and abroad on media consolidation practices. In those talks, Sony did not ask for, nor did it receive, competitive pitches.
IPG's Universal McCann, Los Angeles, successfully defended its hold on the $250 million Sony Pictures business earlier this summer. WPP's The Media Edge and Young & Rubicam, New York and Irvine, Calif., handles Sony consumer electronics media. Omnicom's TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., and OMD, New York, work on Sony Playstation. Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith Media handle various Sony divisions overseas, as does Bcom3's Starcom.