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