Eurotunnel has awarded its prestigious Le Shuttle brand to BST-BDDP
after a three-way pitch against the incumbent, BMP DDB, and its fellow
roster shop, Wunderman Cato Johnson.
Around half of the pounds 10 million UK marketing budget for 1996 will
be handled by BST. WCJ will continue to run the coach and freight
accounts and will create press, direct marketing and radio campaigns to
Le Shuttle also spends around pounds 10 million in continental Europe.
DDB will continue to handle advertising in France and Germany and WCJ
will continue to run the through-the-line business in Belgium and
The agency review was instigated by Bill Dix, chief commercial officer
for Le Shuttle, who joined the company from Avis in November 1995.
BMP’s first TV work, which ran for two months from February 1995,
focused on speed and reliability with the line ‘Le Shuttle is so easy
even the fish want to use it’.
By April 1995, amid press reports of delays, leaks and heavy debt at Le
Shuttle, BMP was briefed to come up with a less boastful approach to
confront Le Shuttle’s problems head on. New ads, based on vox pop
testimonials, broke in May 1995.
However, according to NOP research conducted in July 1995, consumer
awareness of the Eurostar passenger-only and the Le Shuttle passenger-
and-car services remained low.
John Sharkey, the joint chairman of BST, who once worked with Dix when
he ran the Avis business at Saatchi and Saatchi, said: ‘We believe that
Le Shuttle is a great brand and we look forward to driving it forward.’
Sharkey would not divulge Le Shuttle’s creative plans. However, sources
suggest that BST’s task will effectively be to relaunch the brand.
Despite low consumer awareness, Le Shuttle carries 44.9 per cent of the
car cross-Channel business, 46.4 per cent of the freight and 31.5 per
cent of the coach business.
David Butter, the executive vice-president for WCJ Europe, said: ‘This
decision does not affect our relationship with Le Shuttle. It’s business
as usual for us, which means getting bums on seats.’
Dix was not available for comment as Campaign went to press.