BBH lands pounds 60m Sega Europe task

Sega has pulled its pounds 60 million pan-European account out of WCRS and appointed Bartle Bogle Hegarty to handle its brand advertising.

Sega has pulled its pounds 60 million pan-European account out of

WCRS and appointed Bartle Bogle Hegarty to handle its brand

advertising.



BMP DDB is also thought to be working with Sega on a parallel

assignment, the details of which are not known.



The split with WCRS has come after the BBC screened a Watchdog programme

criticising Sega for making false claims about the Dreamcast’s online

gaming capabilities.



However, Sega is thought to be sticking to the strategy devised by WCRS,

which is based on the claim that the Dreamcast has six billion players

worldwide.



A Sega Europe spokesman said: ’We are pleased with the WCRS work that

helped launch the Dreamcast successfully, but we are moving on to the

next stage. We’ve asked BBH to partner us as we go forward.’



WCRS won Sega in March last year after a pitch against Bartle Bogle

Hegarty, M&C Saatchi, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe and McCann-Erickson’s

Magic Hat.



Stephen Woodford, the chief executive of WCRS, said: ’We are very proud

of the launch of Dreamcast but we could not agree creatively on the way

forward. We are parting on very good terms and we wish Sega well.’



The Dreamcast’s July launch campaign was staged around the release of

Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace. Two commercials, which are

still on air, highlight the Dreamcast’s internet capabilities and the

fact that players can challenge each other online. They do this by

showing people in competitive situations as if they are playing each

other on the games console.



The first, ’shave’, took place in the barber shop of a Foreign Legion

fort where three barbers race to shave the heads of new recruits.



The other features children throwing stones at a buoy floating in a

bay.



The Dreamcast has performed well since its October launch. A Sega

spokesman claimed that it is Europe’s fastest-selling games console and

that the 700,000 sales across Europe have far exceeded Sega’s

expectations.



Up to 250,000 Dreamcast customers play on the internet, making Sega’s

Dream Arena Europe’s fastest-growing entertainment portal.



Sega and WCRS have had a chequered history. WCRS handled the Sega

account from 1990 to 1994 and launched the Sega Megadrive.



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