Sony Ericsson has appointed McCann Erickson London to create a Christmas campaign mid-way through the pitch for its £50 million global advertising account.
McCann is one of four agencies competing in a contest managed by Agency Assessments International. The agency is up against DDB London, Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis London.
The competing agencies were briefed at the start of the process to come up with ideas for a Christmas campaign. However, they were told that the winner of the Christmas brief would not automatically take the global account. Presentations for the main brief are scheduled to take place later this month.
The pitch was called after the company split from Bartle Bogle Hegarty, its advertising agency of the past five years. The agency resigned the account after Sony Ericsson hired the brand consultancy Wolff Olins to create a new brand strategy, which it asked BBH to implement.
Last week, Campaign revealed the creative treatment Wolff Olins has developed involves adapting the iconic "I (Love) New York" slogan. The circular Sony Ericsson logo will appear in place of the heart shape. The logo is to be followed with words such as "music" and "photography".
Sony Ericsson is understood to have presented the treatment to BBH after Wolff Olins had secretly been working on it for five months. The mobile phone company stipulated that the agency had to use the idea. BBH is said to have disagreed with Sony Ericsson over the strategy and the direction in which it would take the brand's advertising.
Wolff Olins' idea will be executed in a global campaign following the resolution of the creative pitch.
BBH's most recent campaign for the brand, which promoted its K800i Cyber-shot phone, featured the tennis stars Daniela Hantuchova and Ana Ivanovic.
The ad, which ran internationally, featured the pair playing a fast and furious rooftop game of tennis, images of which were captured on a Cyber-shot phone.
One of BBH's earlier campaigns for the handset manufacturer was a spot for the K750i camera phone. It featured a couple taking photographs of a chain of events in which a dragonfly was eaten by a salmon, which in turn was eaten by a bear, which got carried off by an eagle.