- Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which is set to part company with Sega at the end of the month, has been named as one of four agencies contesting Microsoft's rival X-box account.
Microsoft chiefs saw pitches from BBH, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, Lowe Lintas & Partners and the Dutch agency 180 last week with a view to making an announcement early in the new year.
A separate media appointment will be made after the winning creative agency has been named.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has denied putting any pressure on BBH to pitch for X-box, its first venture into the games market.
"BBH's decision to end its relationship with Sega has not been influenced by us," a Micosoft spokesman said.
The termination of the contract between BBH and Sega after only 10 months is thought to be connected with the company's intention to concentrate on ad hoc advertising promoting specific products rather than the brand.