Eurofighter GmbH has hired the EURO RSCG group to help convince worldwide governments and the public of the merits of its 42bn Eurofighter military jet.
UK ad arm EURO RSCG Wnek Gosper, and PR outfit Biss Lancaster will work alongside EURO RSCG agencies in Spain, Italy and Germany to promote the jet in Europe and to potential export markets. The Eurofighter is being jointly developed by Spanish, Italian and German aerospace manufacturers and by British Aerospace in the UK.
Billed as the most technically effective combat aircraft in the world, Eurofighter is designed to match the threat from Russian-made fighters such as the Mig-29. It is expected to enter service by 2002 and in peak production should employ up to 16,000 people in the UK.
While export prospects could be considerable, the decision to call in the marketing big guns reflects concerns from Eurofighter that the technology should be perceived in a positive way by both foreign governments and the general public.
The Eurofighter has already faced a political dogfight, with critics saying the end of the Cold War has rendered it unnecessary. It was only given the final go-ahead by the German parliament late last month.
The Eurofighter’s technical cap-abilities have also been questioned in a BBC Newsnight programme which is now subject to a complaints inquiry, as BAe claims it was misleading. A further BBC Panorama programme is due out on December 15 which may again criticise the project.
EURO RSCG will be charged with promoting the jet’s technical capabilities to overseas procurement bodies, politicians and the public – whose taxes could fund it.