888.com seeks agency

LONDON - CHI will not repitch as the group hunts for a shop to handle global ad account.

888.com...Vic Reeves starred in an ad
888.com...Vic Reeves starred in an ad

888.com has kicked off a search for an agency to handle its global advertising account.

888 Holdings, the online gaming group, has shortlisted a number of network agencies to compete for the business. The pitch is being handled by the AAR, which has asked agencies to submit global credentials by the end of this week. A result is expected by the end of November.

The incumbent on the £6 million UK account, CHI & Partners, will not repitch for the business.

CHI & Partners won the account in October 2007 after the deregulation of gambling advertising. The Gambling Act 2005, which was introduced on 1 September 2007, allowed broadcast gambling ads to run in the UK.

Alongside this legislation, the gambling industry also imposed a voluntary advertising code, which introduced a 9pm watershed on TV ads.

888.com, which was founded in 1996, operates in 176 countries. The FTSE 250-listed company, headquartered in Gibraltar, announced in August that it would roll out additional games, outside of its online poker offerings.

CHI & Partners' last TV campaign for 888.com, which launched in February 2008, featured the comedian Vic Reeves dressed up as an 888 lady for the company's sub-brand, 888ladies.com. 888.com also operates Casino-on-Net and Pacific Poker.

Matt Robinson, 888.com's vice-president of marketing, said: "We are operating in one of the most vibrant and popular industries in the world. We are now entering the next phase of the development of 888.com and our agency needs have changed. We are therefore seeking a new agency partner who will be as excited by the opportunity and challenge as we are."