Agencies line up for x10m Avis account

Avis, the car-hire company once famed for its "we try harder" ad campaign by Doyle Dane Bernbach, is holding a pitch for its x10 million pan-European account.

Pitches are taking place this week involving five agencies: Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy Group UK, TBWA\London, McCann Erickson and Rapp Collins, which is teaming up with Burkitt DDB.

Avis is handled on a market-by-market basis by local agencies. In the UK, its agency is McCann Erickson London.

Agencies have been asked to present a unified integrated strategy, which will initially run across its key European markets, including the UK.

The advertising follows the appointment of Profero last year to develop a pan-European online campaign, a new strategy for the group.

The increased use of the internet for marketing and online bookings was part of a wider recovery programme, started last year, designed to return the business to profit. In 2004, Avis Europe posted pre-tax losses of x21.8 million.