Universal McCann here has
successfully defended its $250 million-plus Sony
Pictures Entertainment media buying business. The
14-year incumbent kept its show business credentials
after a protracted six-month review that included
Starcom, Chicago, and The Media Edge/MindShare, New
York, in the final round.
The review began when Sony
distribution chief, Jeff Blake took over marketing
after Bob Levin, president of worldwide marketing,
left, and the Universal McCann contract was expiring.
But the review soon spiraled into a debate about
consolidating media responsibilities for all Sony
units, including Sony Electronics -- handled in the
United States by The Media Edge out of its Irvine,
Calif., office -- Sony Music Entertainment and Sony
Computer Entertainment America. The decision was
delayed as the TV upfront approached.
In the end, while top executives
of several global networks, including WPP and
Publicis, made presentations about consolidating
media, the review never grew beyond the studio.