AMV grabs £5m BTA tourist assignment after four-way battle

The British Tourist Authority has appointed Abbott Mead Vickers

BBDO to its £5 million above-the-line task after a four-way pitch

through COI Communications.



COI has refused to confirm the decision and the body insists that no

formal appointment has taken place. However, industry sources have

revealed that AMV won the account after a pitch between McCann-Erickson,

M&C Saatchi and Ogilvy & Mather.



The agency has been given the difficult task of producing an

international campaign aimed at combating the severe negative press the

UK has suffered following the foot-and-mouth crisis earlier this year.

The campaign will also attempt to allay fears of terrorist attacks

following the World Trade Centre disaster in New York in September.



It is understood that AMV will focus on the themes of cities, sport,

heritage and the countryside in the attempt to encourage tourists to

visit the UK next year. The campaign will run at the beginning of next

year and will aim to establish the UK as a place of celebration with the

Queen's Jubilee and the Commonwealth Games taking place here in

2002.



The ads will break in the seven key markets of Germany, Belgium, France,

Canada, Ireland, the US and the Netherlands.



Numbers of visitors to the UK have fallen dramatically since

foot-and-mouth disease broke out in March; from January to September

this year, 18.3 million foreign nationals visited the UK, 7 per cent

down on the period last year.



Peter Buchanan, the deputy chief executive at COI, was overseeing the

running of the pitch but was unavailable for comment.



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