Toshiba kicks off creative pitch

Electronics giant opens talks with networks in bid to consolidate £25 million account across Europe.

Toshiba, the company made famous by its classic "'Ello Tosh got a Toshiba" ads in the 80s, is planning to consolidate its European business into one network.

So far, it has approached at least two unnamed networks to handle its £25 million pan-European account.

The account is currently split between several agencies across Europe. The incumbent on the UK account is DFGW, which picked up the business in October 2005. However, DFGW is understood to have declined the opportunity to repitch.

Its classic "'Ello Tosh" ad was created in 1985 by Gold Greenlees Trott and featured a blueprint man, who was voiced by Ian Dury.

Since then, however, advertising has been sparse. In 2003, WCRS created an ad with the strapline "Choose Freedom", to promote Toshiba's wireless notebook computers.

This was followed in 2005 by DFGW's first work on the account, a £3 million campaign reviving the "'Ello Tosh" line. It also marked the electronic giant's 20th birthday.

It featured an updated 3-D version of the blueprint man, voiced by the Madness frontman Suggs, singing alongside the rapper JC001.

In June 2006, Toshiba gave Saatchi & Saatchi Interactive the £1 million pan-European digital account for its laptop business. It followed this in January 2007 with a pitch for the digital account on its mobile handset business.

However, the review was halted at the last minute when the company's Japanese owner cut its digital ad budget.

In February this year, the company also announced that it would be sponsoring the IRB Rugby World Cup. It became the tournament's fifth official sponsor, joining brands such as Heineken and Orange.

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