SeaFrance has appointed HDM Total Communication to handle its &£2.4m advertising account with a brief to help it win back cross- channel travel business lost to rival ferries and Eurotunnel.
HDM won the account after a head-on pitch against incumbent Doner Cardwell Hawkins. The pitch was overseen by marketing manager Rachel Risbrook. HDM will be responsible for strategy, advertising and brand guardianship. Doner Cardwell Hawkins had worked on the business since February 1997.
The French-owned company retains Steel Design Partnership for its direct marketing activity and The Inline Partnership as a regional agency. Media is handled by Media-edge: CIA.
Competition in the cross-channel sector in both the passenger and freight markets has increased in recent years and put SeaFrance under pressure. The company has warned that growth will slow down this year, but it is still adding a sister ship to the SeaFrance Rodin fleet in early 2005.
Eurotunnel is to launch a brand advertising campaign on October 1, devised by Publicis. The outdoor and press campaign delivers humorous messages about the enjoyable experience of being in France and the speed of Eurostar’s service compared to ferries – one ad carries the strapline “Ferry slow or very fast?”
Other travel and leisure brands handled by HDM include Continental Airlines, Emirates, FlyBe and Jersey Tourism.