McCann takes Xbox business

Microsoft has moved its £60m pan-European advertising business for its Xbox games console out of Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), placing the business with McCann-Erickson, which handled the business in all other markets.

BBH has held the business since the games console’s launch at the beginning of last year, and the agency created the advertising tagline: “Play more” (MW March 14, 2002).

In April, Microsoft lowered the price of its Xbox to £129.99, matching the price of Nintendo’s GameCube (MW April 17). The move was the third price cut in just over a year, and was part of the console’s battle to keep its slim hold on the number two market position behind Sony’s PlayStation 2.

The Xbox was launched at £299 in March 2002, the first price cut, of £100, came a month later and was followed by another, in September, which saw its price fall to about £160.

BBH created an ad that was banned after the Independent Television Commission received 136 complaints from viewers who found it “offensive, shocking and in bad taste” (MW June 6, 2002).

The ad began with a woman giving birth to a baby boy who shot out of a window and aged rapidly as he travelled through the air screaming. The end of the ad depicted him violently crashing into his own grave. The ad ended with the tagline: “Life is short. Play more.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here