NEWS: Le Shuttle reviews pan-Euro account

Eurotunnel has instigated a pan-European communications overhaul of its pounds 25 million Le Shuttle brand.

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

direct mail.



Media is currently handled by BMP, and is also thought to be part of the

rethink.



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

strategy.



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

originates.



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

1995).



Chris Powell, chief executive of BMP DDB Needham, declined to comment.



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