The Israel Government Tourist Board (ITB) is searching for a media planning and buying agency to handle its &£2m pan-European account.
Following the death of Yasser Arafat and the election of the moderate PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas, it is believed that the country is keen to promote tourism once more. The ITB is preparing a series of summer advertising campaigns aimed at holidaymakers this year focusing on the resort of Eilat.
The ITB has kept a low profile in recent years as the Israeli government has struggled to quell the second Palestinian Intifada and has instead aimed its marketing at Christians wanting to visit Bethlehem. The board has no recorded UK advertising spend since 2000, when its budget was &£270,000 (Nielsen Media Research).
Its European media has been handled by a French agency for the past 12 months. The last UK agency to handle ITB business was Total Media. UK marketing director Oren Drori says that the majority of interest in the account so far has been from UK-based agencies.
He adds that the advertising work would be commissioned on a project basis. The last UK advertising agency to work with the ITB was Summerfield Wilmot Keene (SWK), which won the business in October 2000 after a pitch against Conquest, McCann Erickson and incumbent Burkitt DDB. SWK was acquired by Chemistry Communications Group in 2002.