BTA to overhaul UK tourist image

The British Tourist Authority is reviewing its pounds 35 million global marketing and communications strategy in a bid to boost Britain’s international image.

The British Tourist Authority is reviewing its pounds 35 million

global marketing and communications strategy in a bid to boost Britain’s

international image.



Keith Beecham, the global marketing services director at the BTA,

confirmed the review is taking place, but indicated that a pitchlist of

potential agencies has yet to be compiled.



The BTA does not use a global network and has traditionally had a

disparate agency roster, using different agencies in each market. Its

advertising has historically been conducted largely in partnership with

a range of international partners, such as airlines and local tourist

boards. Ogilvy & Mather, which was appointed to handle some BTA business

more than 15 years ago, still handles a portion of its international

business.



Beecham confirmed that advertising will be reviewed along with the BTA’s

other marketing relationships. He indicated a growing role for customer

relationship marketing and new media to produce a more integrated

communications strategy, saying: ’We’ll be trying to centralise the

necessary marketing tools.’



’We work with marketing partners, but we’re looking to address the

bigger question of a global advertising partner that we don’t now have,’

Beecham said. ’We’re looking to balance the merits of local market

knowledge with the benefits of a global approach.’



Part of the remit for a prospective global advertising partner will be

to update BTA’s marketing techniques and to position Britain as a

country blending tradition with modernity. Beecham indicated that the

review was intended to help the company put Britain back on the map in

the face of growing competition from other countries. ’We’re trying to

move into closer relationships with our customers,’ he added.



The BTA runs TV, print and radio campaigns in 27 countries. The

government-funded body recently set up a unit to promote the UK as a

sports destination, with plans for tailored marketing campaigns in 20

countries.