Gamestation opens talks with agencies about £3m account

Gamestation, the Blockbuster-owned video and computer-games console retailer, is looking for an advertising agency to handle its £3 million account as it tries to increase its share of the game-console retailing market.

The review comes two years after the retailer was bought by the Viacom-owned video rental chain and is its first nationwide advertising activity since the purchase.

It is understood to be part of a strategy to raise awareness of the brand and increase its presence on the high street against competition from rival games retailers such as HMV and Game.

It is not yet clear whether it will look to forge closer ties with the Blockbuster brand, which is the UK's largest video-rental store chain with 700 outlets.

The pitch is being handled by the AAR and a number of agencies are understood to have been asked to present creative credentials.

The AAR recently handled the pitch process to appoint an online agency for Blockbuster, which Agency Republic won. The appointment of a digital agency is expected to lead to the launch of an online delivery service.

Blockbuster's above-the-line agency is Donor Cardwell Hawkins, which picked up the account four years ago from TBWA\London. However, it is not known whether the incumbent will be involved in the pitch.

Blockbuster's £10 million media planning and buying is handled by Walker Media, which won the account in 2002.

The Gamestation chain was founded in 1993 in York and grew to 60 stores by the time it was bought by Blockbuster in 2002. It now has more than 100 stores across the UK.

No-one at Gamestation was available to comment on the news as Campaign went to press.

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