Young and Rubicam has been appointed by Sega Europe to launch the games
giant into the PC CD-Rom market with the July release of Virtua Fighter,
one of Sega’s top arcade games, in the new format.
The appointment was made as Sega confirmed that it has formally split
with its UK incumbent, McCann-Erickson. Its relationship with McCanns,
which won the pounds 25 million pan-European account more than a year
ago, is believed to have been on the rocks for some time. The agency’s
year-long contract ran out at the end of March, and will not be renewed.
Andy Mee, the Sega European marketing director, said: ‘McCanns no longer
handles our creative work, except on an ad-hoc basis. We have been using
in-house work for the vast majority of our advertising, but Y&R came up
with the right creative idea at the right time for the Virtua Fighter
Mee stressed that Sega will not be looking to appoint another agency and
that the split with McCanns was made because Sega wanted to ‘spread its
Y&R was awarded the business after a speculative pitch and has created a
press campaign for the launch, which breaks next month.
Sega Europe’s relationship with Universal McCann, McCanns’ media arm,
remains unaffected, although outside media resources will also be used
for some projects.
McCanns picked up the pan-European account after a fierce final contest
against the fellow Interpublic agency, Lowe Howard-Spink (Campaign, 3
McCanns still handles Sega’s creative account in Spain and France, but
resigned the German business last month.
Sega has slashed its advertising budget to about pounds 4 million over
the past 12 months.
Toby Hoare, the chairman of Y&R, confirmed the agency had only been
appointed for the Virtua Fighter project.