Nintendo puts Cake on alert with agency review

Nintendo is formally reviewing its UK PR account after eight years with digital specialist Cake in what the agency claims is ‘an entirely commercial decision'.

Nintendo: launched Wii console last December
Nintendo: launched Wii console last December

The video games giant is understood to have been ­interviewing hand-picked agencies for the past month.

Cake head of planning Greg James said it made ‘commercial sense’ for Nintendo to review its account. ‘It’s a good excuse for us to look at it afresh,’ he added.

Cake launched the bestselling Nintendo Wii console last December, bringing in tennis players Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski to add some star power to the press conference.

This year, Cake launched new games aimed at a mainstream, non-gamer market. These crossover titles include the popular Nintendogs brand and Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training for Nintendo DS.

Now, Cake will join The Red Consultancy and other unnamed agencies on Nintendo UK’s first pitch list. ‘It’s unusual for any client to go eight years without a pitch unless they are tied into some huge global nightmare,’ said Cake CEO Mike Mathieson.

‘We were told in good time that Nintendo would be rev­iewing the UK business and that it is entirely a commercial decision,’ he added.

The review will not affect Cake’s role as retained agency on Nintendo’s European business.

Cake has won awards for its work on the Nintendo UK account, including gaming magazine MCV’s Team of the Year award, and PRWeek’s Campaign of the Year prize in 2006.

It lost account manager Sian Dobson to video game developer THQ earlier this year (PRWeek, 13 July).

Dobson was head of Cake’s Nintendo UK team, responsible in particular for promoting its kids, family and licensed titles.

She now works on titles including Bratz Babyz, Ratatouille and Disney Princesses for THQ, a rival of Nintendo.

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