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
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.