Bates closes in on Center Parcs

The Bates Group is looking to extend its grip on the Center Parcs account in a pan-European pitch for the above- and below-the-line account.

Bates Europe is pitching against Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Worldwide, J Walter Thompson Europe and the DDB network for work which spans Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany for an account valued at more than 10m.

Center Parcs sales and marketing director Tom Wright, who joined from Carlsberg-Tetley last year, is overseeing the pitch out of Rotterdam. A decision is expected by the end of the month on the Scottish and Newcastle-owned centres.

“We have used agencies on a project basis and in the past have handled some of the work in-house. But we want to appoint a single agency network to help us work on our pan-European communications strategy,” says Wright.

Each network has put together an international team to cover above- and below-the-line work and media planning. The Bates Europe team includes Bates Communications in the UK and Scholz & Friends in Germany; J Walter Thompson has linked up with Ogilvy One in the UK; Saatchi & Saatchi is working with MHI in Germany; and the DDB team includes the Rapp Collins network.

The review does not include the UK advertising account held by Bates Dorland and direct marketing agency Marketing Perspectives. Bates Dorland created a campaign seven month’s ago to mark the tenth anniversary of Center Parcs’ UK launch.

Center Parcs has five holiday villages in the Netherlands, but just three in the UK. There are two in Belgium and one in Germany.

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