NEWS: SeaFrance trawls for shop to boost profile

SeaFrance, the fledgling French ferry group, is searching for an agency to rid it of the downmarket image associated with its predecessor.

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

GGT.



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

dissolution.



Its competitors include Stena, P&O European Ferries, Brittany Ferries

and the Channel Tunnel.