- Eurostar has kicked off a review of its entire European advertising account, currently held by Young & Rubicam.
LONDON (Campaign) - The statutory review precedes the expiry of Y&R's contract at the end of this year, but it is also prompted by the company's desire to develop more consistent branding across Europe. The move follows a major shake-up at Eurostar resulting in the creation of the Eurostar Group and a shift towards a more European approach to the company's marketing.
Bertrand Guillon, Eurostar Group's commercial director, said: "We shall be looking for a pan-European organisation capable of providing strategic leadership for a high-profile brand together with the creation and development of excellent advertising on all fronts."
A Eurostar Group spokesman in the UK said: "Part of the reason for forming the umbrella Eurostar Group is to centralise the marketing activity, thereby making the brand values the same in all markets." But he added that work would be tactically different in the three markets, to take local interests into account.
In the past, Eurostar has used St Luke's to create advertising in the UK, while Y&R has handled Belgium and France as well as producing some UK work. Y&R has been invited to repitch for the account, which is worth £10 million in the UK alone.
Eurostar has had little consistency in its advertising since its futuristic launch campaign through Y&R in 1994. The account then moved to St Luke's, which produced a quirky campaign fronted by Antoine de Caunes and a philosophising Eric Cantona. More recently, St Luke's produced a series of ads using the strapline: 'As if by magic, Paris arrived', then the strategy changed again with a cartoon-style campaign introducing the phrase: "Let's go conti-mental.'.
In June last year, St. Lukes' contract expired and Y&R was reinstated to the account. Recent work through Rainey Kelly/Y&R for Eurostar has shown a group of individuals singing their way through their dialogue in French, with subtitles.