NEWS: Freud loses out in Sega switch

Sega Europe, the computer games maker, has dropped Freud Communications from its pounds 100,000 plus consumer PR account, just days before the Christmas shopping rush.

Sega Europe, the computer games maker, has dropped Freud Communications

from its pounds 100,000 plus consumer PR account, just days before the

Christmas shopping rush.



The agency was informed of Sega’s wish to terminate the contract last

Friday and is now working out its notice period until the end of the

month. The contract would normally be reviewed only at the end of the

company’s financial year in February.



UK marketing director Noel Dardis declined to comment on why Sega had

ended the relationship early, but revealed that the decision had been

taken by Sega Europe’s chief executive Malcolm Miller.



He refuted suggestions that the decision comes at an awkward time for

the company. ‘The bulk of the work for the Christmas season has already

been done,’ said Dardis. ‘We just need to make sure we have got

something up and running quickly.



‘We will probably sell out of most products pre-Christmas. There are two

product launches next year which could suffer, but we should have

something sorted out before then.’ He added that Sega was talking to

four agencies about taking over the account, and in the meantime Freud

was continuing to co-operate on existing projects.



Appointed in April when Sega shifted its account from Lynne Franks (PR

Week, 28 April), Freud has handled PR for the company’s range of home

video games, including Megadrive, the Pico interactive early learning

aid and its CD-based Saturn console.



It is thought to be unlikely that Sega Europe’s decision will affect

Freud’s work for Segaworld, the planned pounds 45 million theme park.



Sega is facing heavy competition this Christmas from market rivals such

as Nintendo and Sony Playstation.



Nintendo now handles public relations in-house after it ended its

relationship with Deighton and Odell in September this year. Launched

two months ago, Sony Playstation retains MacLaurin Communication and

Media.



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