Mark Banham
Nov 15, 2011

PHD takes global Sony Ericsson media account

GLOBAL - PHD has been awarded the US$200 million global media planning and buying account for mobile phone giant Sony Ericsson.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia
The Sony Ericsson Xperia

The win comes after a multi-way pitch, that ended in a two-way fight between PHD and incumbent MEC. The shifting of the account ends a decade-long relationship between Sony Ericsson and the WPP-owned agency.

Sony Ericsson has come under increasing pressure in the global handset market in recent years, as it faces strong challenges from fellow smartphone manufacturers including Apple, Research In Motion, and HTC.

At the end of last month, Sony agreed to buy 50 per cent of the joint venture company, giving it full control. The deal is expected to be fully rubber stamped by January next year.

The communications company recently launched its latest phone the Xperia Play, a phone that also doubles as a gaming device.

"PHD has impressed us with their comprehensive strategic thinking and insight. Moreover there is a strong cultural and structural connection between our two teams," said Steve Walker, chief marketing officer at Sony Ericsson. "Our Xperia smartphone portfolio will be a cornerstone of Sony’s four-screen experience, and PHD is the right agency to partner with in bringing consumers an experience that goes beyond smartphones".

Mike Cooper, chief executive of PHD Worldwide, said: "At present there are few categories more dynamic than the global mobile handset market. Sony Ericsson is an incredibly vibrant and future facing company and is in a great position with its latest Xperia products.  This combined with PHD’s renowned strategic capabilities and track record for innovative and creative thinking is a formula for a winning partnership."

It is understood the pitch was handled by Accenture. A spokesperson for PHD Asia-Pacific said local agencies were not heavily involved in the global pitch.

Charles Courtier, chief executive of MEC Global, said the network was disappointed to lose the account. "This is obviously disappointing new for us. We have been together for 10 years and we are immensely proud of the work we’ve done for [Sony Ericsson]. It’s been a fascinating journey and we take pride in the strong and loyal partnership we have had with them, through good times and bad."

PHD will take over the media account as of 1 January, for an initial period of two years.

Brand Republic

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