March 22, 2004 – The Visit America Alliance, made up of
lead contractor Edelman, M&C Saatchi, and BVK was awarded today
the $6M Department of Commerce contract for integrated advertising,
marketing and public relations. The reward is the first federal
initiative in nearly a decade for marketing the United States as
a destination. The campaign will focus on attracting visitors from
a single market, the UK, in year one, as a pilot program for what
is envisioned to be an ongoing and expanding campaign. In the UK,
Walker Media will handle the media planning and buying, and Longwoods
International will provide independent research services.
Collectively, the Alliance considers its tourism expertise unbeatable
in its ability to achieve the Government’s objectives which are:
to increase U.S. visitation, to augment the economic impact realized
from inbound visitation, to generate interest and future intent
to visit the U.S., and to build perception of the U.S. as a travel
destination in the UK. Due in part to the attacks of 9/11 the U.S.
Tourism industry has suffered declines in recent years. Spending
by international inbound travelers has fallen to a 2002 low of $87.8
billion from $102 billion in 2000.
According to the Department of Commerce, which is the contracting
agency, strengths were seen in the Visit America Alliance for its
leadership and expertise in the field of tourism.
“It is exciting for those of us in the tourism marketing community
to see the federal tourism campaign for the United State come to
fruition and we of course are proud to be associated with it. By
creating the Visit America Alliance with Edelman, M&C Saatchi
and BVK, we have formed a tourism marketing “dream-team” to carry
out this important task,” said Cathleen Johnson, Executive Vice
President, General Manager and leader of Edelman’s global tourism
practice. “As independent agencies, our ability to pick out and
partner with the best has been a real asset. Our combined experience
in the tourism arena is a force to be reckoned with.
But, more importantly, we are all passionate about the tourism
business, and the Visit America Alliance considers it an honor to
represent the United States’ first federal initiative. We can’t
wait to get started.”
“This is an amazing opportunity for all of us. It was a truly global
team response. M&C Saatchi offices in L.A., London and Tokyo
were all involved in developing our brutally simple response to
the brief. We look forward to developing an integrated campaign
for the U. K. market” said Huw Griffith, CEO M&C Saatchi who
leads the M&C Saatchi Worldwide team.
“Unity, cohesion and partnership efforts are nice ideas in boom
times. They are imperatives in tough times. We are thrilled to put
our expertise in the development and implementation of strategic
alliances and cooperative partnerships to work for such a great
effort” said Mary DeLong, Sr. V.P. BVK.
“In addition to being a significant win for the Alliance, this
is a significant and important win for Edelman’s new Federal Programs
Practice. It’s not our first federal contract – we already work
for HHS and AID – but it’s our biggest. The fact that we won this
highly competitive international assignment just a few months after
being listed on the GSA Schedule shows the strength and value of
Edelman’s offering to government clients. We’re proud and delighted
to be handed this business, and we’ll deliver a first-rate product”
said Neal Flieger, General Manger, Edelman Washington D.C.
Edelman is the world's largest independent public relations firm
with 1,800 employees in 39 offices worldwide. In 2003, The Holmes
Group named Edelman "Agency of the Year," and PRWeek
voted its work for CIT "Best Campaign of the Year," the
industry's most prestigious award for client programming. Edelman's
network includes four specialty firms - Blue (advertising), First&42nd
(management consulting), StrategyOne (research) and BioScience Communications
(medical education and publishing) - making it possible for us to
offer clients a comprehensive spectrum of communications. Visit
www.edelman.com for more information.
About M&C Saatchi
M&C Saatchi was established in 1995 by Maurice Saatchi after
he left Saatchi & Saatchi, the agency he and his brother grew
to be one of the biggest and better known agencies in the world.
M&C Saatchi is already the fastest growing advertising agency
in the world and is one of the largest global independent networks.
The Agency handles Tourism New Zealand, British Airways, Qantas,
Crystal Cruises and Ketel One business in US. Visit www.mcsaatchi.com
for more information.
BVK is a $200million integrated marketing firm with headquarters
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and branch offices in Chicago, Tampa, Miami,
Cape Coral, Florida and Sacramento, CA. BVK has a national reputation
in the travel-leisure-recreation category with clients such as The
Mark Travel Corporation, Samsonite, Lee County Florida VCB, Cruisers
Yachts, Sunstream Resorts and TravelGuard International insurance.
Visit www.bvk.com for more information.