Ferry company Stena Sealink has chosen J Walter Thompson to handle its advertising account. It plans to more than double its ad spend to 13m in 1996.
Last year the company spent 5.5m (Register-MEAL) through GGT. The account was awarded to JWT without a pitch.
The business will cover advertising for the company’s relaunch as Stena Line in January.
The expanded ad budget reflects an increasingly aggressive strategy. Stena announced at the beginning of this month that it will be changing its corporate identity and increasing its cross-channel services in the new year, when it formally ends its pooling agreement with French ferry operator SNAT. It is introducing a fourth super ferry and a fast-ferry service on the Dover-Calais route. It will then be able to offer 27 sailings a day.
Rival P&O has announced a 19 per cent fall in profits to 25m for its ferry operation in the first half of 1995, placing its dominance of the cross-channel market under threat.
Stena’s advertising through GGT has concentrated on price promotion. This contrasts with P&O’s more image-based campaigns through Bates Dorland.
Stena is likely to change tack to promote improvements in its service, which is being billed by the company as “unrivalled in style, quality and frequency” across the Straits of Dover.