SeaFrance, the fledgling French ferry group, is searching for an agency
to rid it of the downmarket image associated with its predecessor.
The company has risen from the ashes of the joint venture between Stena
and the French railway group, SNCF. From January, it will share the
Dover to Calais route with Stena. SeaFrance has earmarked more than
pounds 6 million for a launch marketing drive, with the lion’s share
destined for above- and below-the-line advertising initiatives.
Three agencies have been shortlisted, with the help of the marketing
consultancy, CIA Conzept. Presentations will be made over the next two
weeks by Publicis, Delaney Fletcher Bozell and Bean MC. A decision is
expected by the end of this month.
John Horner, a managing partner at CIA Conzept, said SeaFrance had
signed up the public relations company, Charles Barker, and that
a promotions company will be appointed shortly.
Advertising in the UK, which provides 70 per cent of cross-Channel
passengers, used to be part of the Stena account, which was handled by
SeaFrance is embarking on a massive programme to help get rid of the
‘surly staff and smelly ships’ image associated with the French side of
the former joint venture - a charge which eventually led to its
Its competitors include Stena, P&O European Ferries, Brittany Ferries
and the Channel Tunnel.