NEWS: Le Shuttle turns to BST for UK revamp

Eurotunnel has awarded its prestigious Le Shuttle brand to BST-BDDP after a three-way pitch against the incumbent, BMP DDB, and its fellow roster shop, Wunderman Cato Johnson.

Eurotunnel has awarded its prestigious Le Shuttle brand to BST-BDDP

after a three-way pitch against the incumbent, BMP DDB, and its fellow

roster shop, Wunderman Cato Johnson.



Around half of the pounds 10 million UK marketing budget for 1996 will

be handled by BST. WCJ will continue to run the coach and freight

accounts and will create press, direct marketing and radio campaigns to

boost bookings.



Le Shuttle also spends around pounds 10 million in continental Europe.

DDB will continue to handle advertising in France and Germany and WCJ

will continue to run the through-the-line business in Belgium and

Holland.



The agency review was instigated by Bill Dix, chief commercial officer

for Le Shuttle, who joined the company from Avis in November 1995.



BMP’s first TV work, which ran for two months from February 1995,

focused on speed and reliability with the line ‘Le Shuttle is so easy

even the fish want to use it’.



By April 1995, amid press reports of delays, leaks and heavy debt at Le

Shuttle, BMP was briefed to come up with a less boastful approach to

confront Le Shuttle’s problems head on. New ads, based on vox pop

testimonials, broke in May 1995.



However, according to NOP research conducted in July 1995, consumer

awareness of the Eurostar passenger-only and the Le Shuttle passenger-

and-car services remained low.



John Sharkey, the joint chairman of BST, who once worked with Dix when

he ran the Avis business at Saatchi and Saatchi, said: ‘We believe that

Le Shuttle is a great brand and we look forward to driving it forward.’



Sharkey would not divulge Le Shuttle’s creative plans. However, sources

suggest that BST’s task will effectively be to relaunch the brand.



Despite low consumer awareness, Le Shuttle carries 44.9 per cent of the

car cross-Channel business, 46.4 per cent of the freight and 31.5 per

cent of the coach business.



David Butter, the executive vice-president for WCJ Europe, said: ‘This

decision does not affect our relationship with Le Shuttle. It’s business

as usual for us, which means getting bums on seats.’



Dix was not available for comment as Campaign went to press.