Infogrames in Play

Gaming com pany Infogrames has begun contacting New England-area agencies as it prepares to shift its account from the West, sources said.

The account has been handled by DDB, Los Angeles, for a year.

While sources have put the budget in the $20 million range, the New York-based com pany spent slightly more than half that amount last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

Infogrames executives did not return calls by press time last week. DDB president Rick Carpenter declined comment.

The shop has handled creative and media duties, as well as sales promotions, events, direct marketing and online marketing through its Tribal DDB affiliate, which is located in Los Angeles. Work has mainly focused on promoting Infogrames’ various titles, rather than a broad-based image appeal.

The move comes after Infogrames shifted its marketing functions from Santa Monica to Beverly, Mass., according to sources.

Client vice president of marketing Sarah Buxton, who hired DDB, has moved to vp of marketing for the company’s Atari division. Her role at Infogrames has been filled by Steve Allison, who previously had handled product development.

Infogrames, which publishes interactive entertainment software geared toward both hard-core gamers and casual fans, has more than 1,000 titles, including Deer Hunter, Driver, and video game versions of the TV show Survivor and the Hasbro game Monopoly.

When DDB won the account last year, it overcame Arnold in San Francisco, Attik in New York, BBDO West in Los Angeles, and Rubin Postaer and Associates in Santa Monica, Calif.

That review was spurred by a consolidation of ad accounts brought in by acquisitions of category mates such as Hasbro Interactive and

In February, Infogrames re ported record results for the first six months of fiscal year 2002, with revenues climbing 48 percent to nearly $248 million from $167 million during the same period last year.

—with David Gianatasio

and Al Stewart