Sony in talks with London shops about Aiwa creative

LONDON - Sony has contacted London-based agencies about turning a European creative pitch for its consumer electronics brand Aiwa into a global review.

The electronics giant had shortlisted the Amsterdam-based Strawberry Frog and the Brussels-based BLD Europe to pitch for the pan-European Aiwa business last month.

However, its European headquarters in Germany has now terminated the original pitch, and is talking to agencies about a global brief.

Aiwa, which was acquired by Sony last year as it struggled against cost-cutting Asian rivals, competes against companies such as Sanyo, Hitachi and Toshiba.

Sony wants to position the brand in the youth market with edgier advertising that will differentiate it from its many competitors.

Sony was originally keen to complete the pitch quickly because Aiwa is launching a new product range in April. The range offer gadgets such as MiniDisc recorders that can be linked with PCs . Aiwa was founded in 1951 and operates across the globe. It became part of the Sony Group in October 2002.

In November, Sony Europe awarded its £70m pan-European advertising account to Fallon, moving the business out of Saatchi & Saatchi. The account excluded Sony PlayStation, which is held by TBWA\London.

OMD UK picked up Sony Europe's £320m pan-European planning and buying account last year. The business was previously divided between OMD, which handled consumer electronics, and Zenith, which ran the Columbia TriStar account.

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