The first brand campaign to promote British further and higher
education abroad has been awarded to Shandwick public affairs and its
sister advertising agency, McCann-Erickson.
The British Council, which is running the campaign, also shortlisted
WPP-owned sister firms Hill and Knowlton and JWT, and Omnicom-owned
Interbrand Newell and Sorrell. Fees for the PR element of the campaign
run into six figures.
The British Council, the Government agency which promotes British
culture abroad, has initially briefed McCann-Erickson and Shandwick to
devise a single brand for British universities, further education
colleges and independent schools.
The second stage of the three-year contract involves promoting the new
brand abroad to attract foreign students to British institutions.
Overseas fees are worth more than pounds 7 billion in invisible exports
for the British economy.
The first task for Shandwick is to ensure the messages devised for the
new brand fit in with the Labour Government’s agenda. Prime Minister
Tony Blair is believed to be keen to promote British education overseas.
Shandwick will also communicate the campaign to educational bodies and
The implementation phase starts next year and will cover key countries
in south Asia, the Middle East and eastern and southern Europe.
Shandwick’s overseas offices will be brought in at this stage.
Shandwick’s account is being led by public affairs chief executive Colin
Byrne, with consultant Ian Moss acting as his number two.
Byrne will work closely with the account team at McCann-Erickson and
report to Allan Barnes, the British Council’s education counselling
service director, who is responsible for promoting British education in
the 108 countries the council is active in.
Barnes said: ’We’ve never tried to create a coherent British education
brand before. We work with 270 institutions from Oxbridge to small
further education colleges and independent schools. It’s very difficult
to promote that many products.’