Eurotunnel has instigated a pan-European communications overhaul of its
pounds 25 million Le Shuttle brand.
The account, which is run out of London, is currently split between BMP
DDB Needham, which handles the corporate advertising business, and Young
and Rubicam’s through-the-line affiliate, Wunderman Cato Johnson, which
handles everything else, including promotional press work, inserts and
Media is currently handled by BMP, and is also thought to be part of the
The overhaul has been sparked by the fledgling brand’s changing needs
and client disappointment over the continuing confusion between Le
Shuttle, which carries vehicles across the Channel, and Eurostar, the
city-to-city passenger-only service.
Wunderman and at least one other unnamed mainstream shop are lining up
alongside DDB Needham to present their ideas as Eurotunnel starts to
trawl for a single through-the-line communications partner to give it
‘one global look’.
It is not clear what part advertising will play in the client’s overall
Philippa Harris, passenger marketing director for Le Shuttle, denied
there was a formal review in progress. She claimed that all of its
agencies are ‘regularly under review’.
However, Campaign has learned that one of the agencies is presenting
ideas, together with its media affiliate, in early March. DDB Needham is
known to be making a presentation on Friday.
Harris admitted: ‘We’re going to do different things in 1996, but the
budgets aren’t fixed yet. Last year we spent dramatically on TV with DDB
Needham - about pounds 11 million - as opposed to pounds 2 million to
pounds 3 million with Wunderman. This year the balance is likely to
change, and we have to decide how to formulate our plans.’
Advertising for Le Shuttle is pan-European, although around 50 per cent
of its budget is spent in the UK, from where 70 per cent of its traffic
Eurotunnel has suffered from heavy debt, image problems, operating
difficulties and disappointing demand. Last year an NOP survey found
consumer awareness of Eurostar and Le Shuttle remained low. Respondents
were unclear which brand related to which service (Campaign, 7 July
Chris Powell, chief executive of BMP DDB Needham, declined to comment.