Saatchis scoops £80m Sony Ericsson relaunch

Global creative brief will see Saatchi & Saatchi rebrand the mobile phone giant.

Saatchi & Saatchi London has beaten McCann Erickson, Publicis and DDB to the £80 million global Sony Ericsson business and it seems that the agency's affection for lovemarks might have contributed to the coup.

Saatchis' global chief, Kevin Roberts, is author of Lovemarks, a book about the emotional role brands play in people's lives. Announcing the appointment, Dee Dutta, the corporate vice-president and head of marketing at Sony Ericsson, said: "We're trying to create a lovemark that is aimed at Sony Ericsson getting closer to its consumers. This will provide us with a basis for a much wider whole-brand relaunch."

He also cited the network's willingness to work closely with the brand consultancy Wolff Olins as a factor in its appointment. "Saatchis showed it could work very closely with our other agencies and that it had a great understanding of our presence in the market," he added.

"Wolff Olins has come up with a graphic and Saatchis will be expected to build on it with a narrative, a story and a marketing presence."

The business came up for review in July when the incumbent of five years, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, resigned the business because it did not want to work on the idea Wolff Olins had created.

The rebrand kicks off next year and will be rolled out over the next three years. Last week, McCann Erickson won the brief to create a Christmas campaign for the company. Mediaedge:cia will continue to handle the media business, while Dare continues to handle the global digital account.

The appointment ends a new-business drought for Saatchis' London agency. It recently pitched unsuccessfully for business including Lexus, Chiquita Bananas, the Post Office, easyJet and WeightWatchers.

Lee Daley, the chairman and chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi London, said: "We are thrilled Sony Ericcson has put its faith in Saatchi & Saatchi London and in our network, after we took on some of the best global agencies. We look forward to working with such an ambitious and visionary client and to delivering ground-breaking work the brand deserves."

- Comment, page 56

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