Nintendo hunts agency as Leo Burnett cuts ties

LONDON - Nintendo is seeking an agency to handle its UK advertising business after Leo Burnett resigned the account.

Leo Burnett oversaw the advertising for the launch of Nintendo's Wii console, and has held the business for seven years. However, insiders claim that the agency decided to part company with the brand after increased interference from the gaming firm's head office in Japan.

Weeks before the Wii launch, it insisted that ads for the console were reshot to 'look more like ads', rather than the documentary-style spots Leo Burnett had created (Marketing, 22 November 2006). Leo Burnett had subsequently been unhappy with the lack of creative authority it had on the account.

Nintendo increased its media spend from £5m to about £13m last year to accommodate the launch of Wii. The new console, which targets gamers of every age, launched in the UK just before Christmas last year. More than 5m Wii consoles have now been sold globally.

Nintendo's promotional activity is overseen by UK marketing director Dawn Paine, who said the split was due to a 'change in business requirements'.

Nintendo reappointed Leo Burnett last July after a pitch against Grey and United. At the time, it moved its media from Starcom to Mediaedge:cia.