BTA hands Beatwax £1m task following three-way pitch win

The Barbados Tourism Authority has opted against hiring a traditional above-the-line agency and instead picked Beatwax to handle creative work on its £1 million account.

Beatwax and its sister operation, the Picture Production Company, will handle a broad range of communications activity for the organisation from TV, press and poster advertising to entertainment industry partnerships including programme sponsorship.

The new work, due to make its debut in June, follows a pitch between Beatwax, McCann-Erickson and Edge. The future of the media account, held by MediaVest, has yet to be decided.

The creative account moves from D'Arcy, where it had been split between the network's offices in London and New York.

The BTA put its business up for review in October last year, shortly before D'Arcy's Publicis Groupe owner announced plans to shut down D'Arcy and absorb its staff and clients into its three other networks.

The agency change comes as Barbados attempts to win back visitors from its key UK and US markets which have been declining over the past three or four years. A hoped-for revival was dented by the 11 September attacks and subsequent terrorism fears. The island plans to capitalise particularly on its suitability for weddings and as a golfing destination.

Mark Robinson, the former new-business director of J. Walter Thompson, now the chairman of Beatwax, said: "Barbados now sees itself as a real growth area with better infrastructure and massive hotel development."