M&C Saatchi is extending its involvement in the millennium
celebrations with an assignment to turn Bethlehem, Christ’s birthplace,
into a magnet for international visitors from the year 2000.
An expected dollars 30 million through-the-line budget - most of it
underwritten by the World Bank - will support the initiative to turn
tourism into a major source of revenue and employment for the
strife-torn Palestinian state.
The agency will work in tandem with Caribiner, the world’s largest
live-event company, which stage-managed last year’s Hong Kong handover
ceremony and will co-ordinate all activities taking place within the
Greenwich dome. Claydon Heeley, an M&C Saatchi-aligned company, will
handle all below-the-line activity.
The joint appointment was confirmed at the end of last week after a
meeting in Bethlehem between Dr Hanan Ashrawi, an aide to the
Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, and head of the Bethlehem 2000
project; Bill Muirhead, an M&C Saatchi founding partner; Mike Lockett,
Caribiner’s European chairman; and Mal Hemmerling, a sponsorship
specialist involved in Formula One motor racing and the Sydney
Ashrawi has discussed Bethlehem’s plans with Jennie Page, the chief
executive of the New Millennium Experience Company, who has given her
approval to the involvement of M&C Saatchi and Caribiner. ’The British
do not have a monopoly in celebrating the millennium,’ she said.
The alliance will have the task of attracting six million visitors to
Bethlehem during the celebrations, which will run from December 1999 to