Sony Pictures Entertainment has reportedly decided to keep its $250 million-plus media buying account at Universal McCann.

The agency’s fourteen-year tenure on the business was placed in jeopardy when Sony launched an informal review in January [WAMN: 05-Jan-01]. Involving Starcom in Chicago and The Media Edge/MindShare in New York, the review became bogged down amid preparations for the upfront season and a debate over whether media duties for all sibling Sony units (such as Sony Electronics) should be consolidated.

However, despite receiving presentations from WPP and Publicis about a combined account, Sony eventually decided to keep the review restricted to the movie operation. “You look at every piece of studio business and they all have dedicated [media partners],” commented one insider. “The category is highly volatile and reactive. It’s not run the way [most categories] run their media operations.”

Neither Universal McCann nor Jeff Blake – Sony’s distribution and marketing chief – have commented.

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