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UK retailer Game’s financial problems are more bad news for TBWA

UK computer games retailer Game Group (which also operates the Gamestation brand) is in trouble, set to lose £18m this year and trying to sell its 600 UK stores in a last-minute bid to rescue the business.

Which means more bad news for TBWA London, which won the supposed £10m account last year at around the same time as it won the much larger Muller yogurts business.

But TBWA resigned Muller shortly before it received the order of the boot from incoming CEO Ronald Kers as its expensive cartoon-based debut commercial, ‘Wunderful Stuff’ bombed, with the powers-that-be at Muller anyway.

Now Game, as we predicted, has hit the buffers, leaving Omnicom-owned TBWA to reflect on a year in which it seemed to have turned the corner after a fallow period only to run into two client firestorms.

The senior management of Muller was ditched en masse by Kers and now Game is on its uppers, partly because games makers are refusing to supply it with their latest products, fearing they won’t be paid. It’s highly unlikely that TBWA will have been paid either.

TBWA London did receive some good news earlier this year with the news that London was to be the lead office on the $100m GSK Aquafresh toothpaste account and it still has good old standbys Apple and Nissan.

But TBWA is still struggling to regain the lustre it had when creative director Trevor Beattie fronted the London agency. Beattie’s BMB is now part-owned by Korean outfit Cheil. It wouldn’t be surprising if owner Omnicom is once again thinking of buying an up-and-coming London creative outfit to pep things up a bit.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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