Five agencies to split BTA £15m global brief

The British Tourist Authority (BTA) has scrapped its plans for a global agency, and will instead appoint five agencies to handle its &£15m advertising account in local markets.

The BTA initially announced that it was looking for global advertising and PR agencies to combat the drop in tourism caused by the foot-and-mouth crisis.

But the government-funded body subsequently dismissed the idea of using one agency (MW May 24) and has put out tenders for individual agencies to handle business in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the US.

BTA head of PR Jo Leslie says: “Initially we thought a global agency would be the way to go. But we discovered each market has a different perception of the UK and therefore needs a different approach.”

The BTA has been granted &£14.2m by the Government. Leslie says 30 per cent of the total budget will be spent on tactical advertising.

Agencies are being asked to portray the UK as a place of celebration with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and the Manchester Commonwealth Games taking place next year.

The BTA hopes to switch the foreign media focus away from the negative publicity that followed the foot-and-mouth outbreaks.

Campaigns are expected to be launched in the US in autumn and winter, and in European markets in January 2002.

The French market is being given a taste of Britain with the recent launch of “Monsieur British”, a cartoon character that gives holiday tips in BTA tourist publications.

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