Microsoft shifts Xbox work out of Bartle Bogle Hegarty

LONDON - Microsoft has moved its European Xbox creative account out of Bartle Bogle Hegarty and into McCann-Erickson as part of a global realignment.

BBH was appointed by Microsoft in December 2001 and, until today, was the only non-McCann agency used by the software giant. The business, said to be worth £4m, changed hands without a pitch.

The move is the last stage in the realignment process and follows Microsoft's decision to move the creative business for its non-Xbox business out of Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper into McCann-Erickson in 2001. It also awarded its entire media account to Universal McCann in the same year.

The decision to cut ties with BBH follows the departure of Xbox vice-president EMEA Sandy Duncan. This heralded a move to forge closer links between the Xbox brand and that of its parent company.

The partnership between BBH and Xbox produced a string of awards including a Cannes Gold in 2002. The agency's most famous work for the brand included "champagne", a viral campaign, which was banned from TV, and "mosquito", a critically acclaimed cinema execution written by then BBH creatives Fred and Farid.

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