Secret Weapon, Activision to Part Ways

LOS ANGELES Independent Secret Weapon Marketing is parting with digital game giant Activision, the agency said.

Activision, based in Santa Monica, Calif., spent $85 million on ads in 2005, though spending this year dwindled to $10 million through August, a decrease of 52 percent from the same period a year ago, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Client executives could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Santa Monica-based agency represented the brand for more than three years, but found it increasingly difficult to sell work.

Sources said Activision had issued a proposal request for its adolescent titles some months ago, but that the RFP had been withdrawn before any work was assigned.

“With our unique business model of handling no more than three clients at a time, it is imperative that we are in sync with each of then,” said Secret Weapon founder and creative director Dick Sittig. “That was no longer the case with Activision.”

Activision is the world’s second-largest gaming company (trailing Electronic Arts) with revenue approaching $1.5 billion for the fiscal year ending March 2006.

Secret Weapon will continue to work with Activision over the next 60 days, including the crucial holiday sales season, when most of the advertising for games and game platforms runs, Sittig said.

Secret Weapon recently parted with Ikea, but added the Southern California Honda dealer business two months ago [Adweek Online, Sept. 18]. Its mainstay client is the Jack in the Box restaurant chain, which annually spends about $115 million on ads. Sittig directs the chian’s TV spots.