Bartle Bogle Hegarty has been confirmed as the lead agency for the
pan-European launch of Microsoft's X-box video games console, as the
software giant ended four months of speculation linking the agency with
BBH will manage a four-strong bespoke network, three of whose member
agencies already work with the London shop to service its Audi cars
account across the continent.
A reported dollars 75 million will back the launch, of which BBH will
set the style and tone of the creative work in co-operation with Louis
XIV in Paris, Verba DDB in Milan and Tandem DDB in Barcelona.
In Germany, the account will be serviced by the Frankfurt office of
McCann-Erickson rather than Saatchi & Saatchi, BBH's partner in the Audi
business, because of a clash with Sony.
Microsoft, which recently aligned itself globally with McCann, is
expected to put the pan-European media assignment into Universal McCann,
which already handles all Microsoft's media planning and buying.
BBH beat Lowe Lintas & Partners in the final shoot-out for the 2002
launch of X-box, which is claimed to have three times the graphics
performance of the latest generation of games consoles.
The agency emerged as the favourite to pick up the business after its
split with Sega at the end of last year, which allowed it to pitch.
BBH's managing director, Gwyn Jones, said: 'We're confident our
pan-European brand-building experience, coupled with our passion for
video games, will allow us to help X-box make the impact it deserves
and, in doing so, redefine the gaming landscape.'