Sony Ramps Up US Adspend to Boost TV Sales

31 August 2005

There's a major TV repair job ahead for Sony.

The Japanese electronics giant is to spend around $140 million (€114m; £77m) on advertising to boost high-definition TV sales in the US.

The push is a measure of Sony's urgent need to stem the expected $1 billion loss for its TV business at the end of the fiscal year next March. The profit forecast for the whole corporation has been cut by 88%.

The TV boost is an integral part of the bigger picture for the company, which is expected to announce a major corporate turnaround strategy next month.

Says executive Katsumi Ihara: "The revival of TV equals the revival of Sony."

The marketing campaign will rebrand the company's entire LCD line, ditching its Wega name in favour of Bravia. The first of the remonikered TV sets will be launched in the US next month, supported by a major series of commercials and print ads, through small Chicago agency Bagby & Co.

Sony has been caught off guard during the flat screen television revolution, while pioneering rivals have piled the new technology high and sold it cheap(ish).

Ihara is certain the company has learned from its mistakes and has brought its manufacturing costs under control. He is confident the TV division will return to profit in 2007.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff