Nintendo to seek agency for console

Nintendo of Europe is looking for an agency to handle the UK launch of its “next-generation” console, Gamecube, next year.

The company has announced that from February 2001 it will take control of all UK marketing for its products, which include N64, Game Boy, the Pokémon range of video games and the forthcoming Game Boy Advance.

The decision ends Nintendo’s distribution and marketing agreement with THE Games, part of John Menzies. It results in the closure of THE Games and the loss of up to ten marketing jobs with the retailer.

The move will be a blow to Leagas Delaney, which currently handles the &£3.5m creative account for THE Games, with media bought through Universal McCann.

David Gosen, managing director of sales and marketing for Nintendo of Europe, says the company is reviewing its UK advertising arrangements.

“Each of our individual markets has its own creative and media agencies and I would expect that will be the case in the UK as well. We would expect them [agency arrangements] to be finalised in the first quarter of next year,” he says.

The company decided to take control of its key European markets ahead of next year’s launch of Gamecube, as well as Game Boy Advance and the Pokémon Gold and Silver games.

He refused to reveal how much the company intends to spend on advertising and marketing for the new products, saying only that it will be a “significant investment”.

Nintendo is opening an office in Surrey and has appointed Andrew Williams, currently sales director at THE Games, as general manager with responsibility for sales and trade marketing in the UK.

The game console battle will heat up next year, with Microsoft due to release its next-generation machine, X-Box, in autumn 2001.Prudential: Plans to increase its brand profile across continental Europe

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