BTA gets rebrand go-ahead after name clash

The British Tourist Authority (BTA) is rebranding under the name VisitBritain, despite a last-minute challenge by a tour operator of the same name.

Privately-owned in-bound tour operator Visit Britain, launched in 1976, raised last-minute legal objections to BTA’s use of the name, but a BTA spokeswoman says that a settlement has been reached for “sole rights” to the name. Neither the BTA nor Visit Britain would disclose terms.

The BTA’s new name takes its lead from both the Scottish tourist body, VisitScotland, and the BTA’s own website for overseas visitors, visitbritain.com.

VisitBritain embraces the functions of the BTA and the England Tourism Council (ETC). A new England division within the body will handle domestic marketing and is working on a &£4m campaign with WCRS. WWAV Rapp Collins will work on direct marketing.

The England marketing division has yet to recruit a director of marketing. The merger with the BTA has resulted in some job losses, including ETC chief executive Mary Lynch.

Former BTA manager for Ireland and Dublin Linda Tuttiet will be head of partner campaigns for the England division.

VisitBritain’s international marketing director is Kenny Boyle, who was recruited in January (MW January 23). He is preparing a &£6m autumn campaign for Europe to promote short-haul breaks in the UK.

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