- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 26, 2004

The U.S. Department of Commerce is looking for partners for its first marketing campaign in Britain.

Officials say the cooperative effort is part of a $6 million campaign to urge British travelers to come to the United States.

British travelers to the United States added more than $11.3 billion to the nation’s economy in 2003.

“It is important that we work closely with the travel and tourism industry in ways that will positively impact the U.S. economy,” said Douglas B. Baker, deputy assistant secretary of commerce for services at the Commerce Department. “The increased travel will add immeasurably to our growing economy.”

The Commerce Department will spend $4 million for a national media campaign to run late this year to early 2005, which is Britain’s peak holiday booking season.

The remaining budget will be spent on public relations, marketing and Web site development.

The co-op program will create promotional opportunities for the travel and tourism industry. It offers programs ranging in cost from $500 to $250,000 that include 10-second national TV spots, direct mail and Web site advertising.

Potential partners also can submit their own customized programs for consideration. Submissions are due by Oct. 8.

Officials hope this part of the program will extend the scope of the campaign and help stretch the $6 million budget, which is far less than what originally was allocated.

In 2003, President Bush approved a $50 million appropriation to create an international tourism campaign. The program was going to target Canada, Mexico, Britain, Japan and Germany.

But the Commerce Department had to slash $44 million of the budget, and four markets were eliminated. In March, Edelman of Chicago won the $6 million advertising contract.

The agency is still in the process of developing the campaign but the Web site, www.USTourismCoop.com gives a glimpse of what consumers can expect.

“The advertising will be themed around the excitement and diversity of ‘Destination USA’ depicted in American film and entertainment,” the Web site said.

“The campaign … will invite British travelers to see and experience the real America they know and love from some of their favorite films, TV programs, books, music and photographs.”

In other news …

• BearingPoint Inc., a business consulting and systems integration firm in McLean, has re-signed golf champ Phil Mickelson to a three-year contract.

Mickelson, who has worked with BearingPoint since December 2000, will continue to wear the company’s brand during tournaments and promotions and speak on behalf of BearingPoint at various events.

• Wilkinson Barker Knauer, a telecommunications law firm, has hired Walczy Hamilton Tran to develop a new Web site, which will be the firm’s first step in its overall marketing effort for 2005.

The Bethesda ad agency also is working with trial lawyer practice Ethridge, Quinn, McAuliffe, Rowan & Hartinger on several marketing assignments.

Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884.Advertising & Marketing runs every other Monday.

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