Xbox holds talks with agencies for pan-European DM

LONDON - Xbox, the Microsoft games console, is in talks with agencies about its pan-European direct marketing and digital account.

The business is currently held by Omnicom's Agency Republic, but Xbox has contacted at least one other direct marketing agency about handling the business.

It is said to be thinking of restructuring the account and using more than one agency because of the difficulties involved in working across several countries and media.

Agency Republic was appointed by Xbox in January 2002 to manage direct marketing and customer retention.

Talks with agencies are ongoing and a formal pitch has yet to be called. Agency Republic has been made aware by Xbox that it is talking to other agencies about the account.

Part of Agency Republic’s initial brief was to build a consumer database from information supplied via registration cards distributed with games.

More recently it developed a £2.5m European campaign that sought to find out more about the habits and interests of Xbox owners.

Agency Republic's digital work has involved updating the playmore.com site, originally created by Dare Digital. Xbox has also used the digital agency Lateral in the past.

A spokeswoman for Xbox said: "There is nothing to say at the moment. No announcement has been made on agency relationships."

An Agency Republic source said: "It's all in a state of flux at the moment and no one is clear how it is being settled."

At the end of 2002, Xbox was the UK's second-biggest selling console in the UK, behind Sony’s PlayStation2.

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