ITB hunts agency for £4m contract

The Israel Government Tourist Board (ITB) is looking for an agency to handle a &£4m pan-European campaign next year.

The board has kept a low profile over recent years as the country has struggled to find a solution to the second Palestinian intifada and tensions across the Middle East have intensified.

The board intends to appoint one agency for a Europe-wide campaign and has invited applications from a number of agencies in the UK, France and Germany. A spokesman for the board says that the planned campaign will focus on Israel’s culture, history and its being home to three religions.

The main source of tourism for Israel at present is the UK, France and Germany. The country was a strong attraction for American visitors, but business has dropped dramatically since the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the subsequent conflict in Iraq.

The last advertising from the ITB in the UK was in early 2001 and devised by Summerfield Wilmot Keene. The agency won the account in October 2000 after a pitch against Conquest, McCann-Erickson and incumbent Burkitt DDB.

Burkitt DDB held the account for seven years and created the “Hava” television campaign using the familiar Hava tune.

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