O&M nets Govt brief as foot-and-mouth devastates tourism

Ogilvy has landed an emergency campaign for the Government to

reassure the public that the countryside is 'open for business' despite

the foot-and-mouth crisis.

Ogilvy, the standby agency for COI Communications, won the brief because

there was no time to hold a pitch. Public information commercials broke

this week in national and local newspapers and on radio.

Michael Meacher, the environment minister, told MPs on Tuesday that the

campaign would be 'massive'. Although Downing Street suggested the

budget could run to millions of pounds, the initial spend is expected to

be between pounds 500,000 and pounds 1 million.

The tourist industry is facing severe problems as people stay away from

the countryside. Ministers believe that some attractions have

over-reacted to the epidemic by closing down unnecessarily.

Meacher said: 'The campaign will set the record straight and state that

it is far from true that the countryside is out of bounds.' It would

also stress the benefits people could bring to rural businesses by

visiting the areas.

The ads will promote an advice line giving callers more information

about which attractions are open.


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