Sony BMG reviews £8m media brief

The record company Sony BMG is reviewing its £8 million media account, currently held by Manning Gottlieb OMD and Vizeum.

The company has employed the media auditor Billetts to draw up a shortlist of agencies. Vizeum holds the £6.5 million BMG Records account, part of Germany's Bertelsmann media group, while MG OMD looks after Sony Records.

Sony is globally aligned to OMD following a review in 2002.

Billetts is still in the early stages of contacting agencies and it is understood that both MG OMD and Vizeum will be repitching for the business.

The review has been prompted by the £3.45 billion merger of the two companies, which is currently the subject of a legal battle at the European Court over its potentially anti-competitive position.

Sony Music and BMG received approval from Brussels in June to create the world's second-largest record company. The merged operation controls about 23 per cent of the global record market, with a catalogue of artists uniting musicians such as George Michael and Big Brovaz with Barbra Streis-and and Elvis Presley.

The music industry is currently facing a period of uncertainty. Short-term pro-spects are improving, led by a recovery in the US, with some forecasts predicting 5 per cent compound growth in global sales until 2009. In the longer term, however, the impact of digitally distributed music and the increased buying power of retailers makes the prognosis less clear.

This has led to speculation that the sector will see further consolidation.

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