Olympic Games calls £62m review

The International Olympic Committee is reviewing its £62 million global advertising account ahead of the 2004 games in Athens.

One UK-based agency and three other global corporations have been shortlisted for the pitch which will take place in New York this week.

Among those invited to attend is the current incumbents on the account, TBWA/Chiat Day, which was appointed in 1999. It is standard practice for the IOC to review its advertising partnership every four years in the countdown to the games.

An announcement on the appointment is expected to be made early next month with the campaign scheduled for launch at the beginning of next year.

TBWA's previous offering, which was unveiled prior to the 2000 Sydney Olympics, used the theme "celebrate humanity". The ads told the stories of famous Olympic athletes, such as the American sprinter Jesse Owens, who won a clutch of medals at the Berlin games in 1936, and the UK decathlete Daley Thompson.

A major part of TBWA's approach was targeting the Olympic brand towards adults. The IOC's marketing director, Michael Payne, said: "The campaigns were a great success and did a lot to help the Olympic brand, and we will be looking to build on that this time round."

During the last Olympics, the IOC's broadcast deal comprised £62 million worth of free airtime across the world. In preparation for 2004, the committee has already agreed a multimillion-pound deal with the US TV station NBC for the media rights to screen the ads. In the UK, the TV executions will be screened by the BBC.