COI shortlists three for £25m UK tourism brief

COI Communications has shortlisted three agencies to work on a jointly funded £25m television advertising campaign, aimed at boosting the UK’s flagging tourist industry, primarily overseas.

The shortlisted agencies are Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO (AMV), Ogilvy & Mather and BMP DDB, and the overseas campaign is set to launch in April. AMV devised the recent “UKOK” £5m print campaign for the British Tourist Authority (BTA), which is still running.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has secured funding for the project and the campaign will be jointly managed by the BTA and contributing partners from the tourism industry, including the British Hospitality Association, P&O, the BAA, British Airways, Avis Europe, Stena Line and American Express. It will focus on heritage, countryside and UK cities, with a large emphasis on the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

The Government is providing £19m of the funding for overseas activity and £1m for marketing Golden Jubilee activity domestically, while the industry is contributing £5m in cash and up to £15m of related marketing activity.

There will be TV campaigns promoting the UK in seven overseas territories including Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the US.

The UK tourism industry took a hammering from the bad press associated with foot-and-mouth disease and then the general fear of air travel following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre last year.

Visitor numbers dropped by seven per cent compared with the previous year to 23.4 million in 2001. Spending fell by 14 per cent to £11.3bn.

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