Tourism Ireland has handed its &£34m global advertising account to J Walter Thompson. The business moves from McCann Erickson.
JWT’s London office and DDFH&B, the JWT network shop in Dublin, will handle the business and MindShare will take on responsibility for global media buying and planning.
The pitch for the three-year contract was overseen by director of marketing Niamh Fitzpatrick. Incumbents McCann Erickson and Universal McCann will continue to work on the account until the end of next year.
JWT and MindShare pitched against Euro RSCG and Media Planning Group, Young & Rubicam and MindShare and the incumbents.
Tourism Ireland was created to promote Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as a single destination. It appointed direct marketing agency Entire earlier this year to develop an autumn mail-out campaign.
The Republic has been experiencing problems with tourism in rural areas since adopting the euro, which has pushed up prices for visitors, although Dublin remains a popular destination for stag and hen parties. American visitors have also been on the wane since the terrorism attacks of September 11, 2001 and the weakening of the dollar.
The Tourism Ireland UK office has spent &£2.25m on advertising in England, Wales and Scotland in the year to September (Nielsen Media Research). It promoted Vera Stedman to the newly created position of UK head of marketing, reporting to director for Britain John Greene, in June last year (MW June 12, 2003).