Ogilvy has landed an emergency campaign for the Government to
reassure the public that the countryside is 'open for business' despite
the foot-and-mouth crisis.
Ogilvy, the standby agency for COI Communications, won the brief because
there was no time to hold a pitch. Public information commercials broke
this week in national and local newspapers and on radio.
Michael Meacher, the environment minister, told MPs on Tuesday that the
campaign would be 'massive'. Although Downing Street suggested the
budget could run to millions of pounds, the initial spend is expected to
be between pounds 500,000 and pounds 1 million.
The tourist industry is facing severe problems as people stay away from
the countryside. Ministers believe that some attractions have
over-reacted to the epidemic by closing down unnecessarily.
Meacher said: 'The campaign will set the record straight and state that
it is far from true that the countryside is out of bounds.' It would
also stress the benefits people could bring to rural businesses by
visiting the areas.
The ads will promote an advice line giving callers more information
about which attractions are open.