VIDEO GAME MAKER ACTIVISION IN TALKS WITH AGENCIES

$30 Million Account Was at D'Arcy Before Moving to Colby

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Activision, one of the leading video game software makers, has begun to contact agencies about its advertising account, executives familiar with the situation said.

Activision's estimated $20 million account had been at Publicis Groupe's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Los Angeles. When the holding company decided to fold the Los Angeles shop, a decision was made to move the account across holding companies to Dentsu's Colby & Partners, Santa Monica. Dentsu is Publicis' largest shareholder.

D'Arcy staff at Colby
Although Colby plans to bring

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members of D'Arcy's Activision account group into its agency, Activision marketing executives have begun to contact agencies to "see what's out there," one executive said.

Activision spent $20.6 million in measured media in 2001 and $22.9 million for the first 10 months of 2002, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

Activision, based Santa Monica, Calif., reports it sells two of the top five video games, "Spider-Man" and "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater," though holiday sales were disappointing.

Lemony Snicket
While management said it plans to cut new product introductions significantly this year, the company, however, recently acquired Luxoflux Corp., a console software firm currently developing "True Crime: Streets of L.A." Activision also is involved in the development of a video game for the DreamWorks Pictures movie Shrek. Activision also acquired the master license for the popular children's book series "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" that is being developed into a movie by Viacom's Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies.

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