WS and Tibbs awarded Paris 2012 Olympic bid

Paris: Paris 2012 has appointed Weber Shandwick and Jon Tibbs Associates to spearhead its international charm offensive as it strives to beat London and New York to become the host city of the Olympic Games.

The two companies are the first foreign firms to be appointed to help the French capital’s bid, following its failed attempt in 2001 for the 2008 games when it came third behind winner Beijing and runner-up Toronto.

Tibbs ran international PR campaigns for the last two winning entries and teamed up with Weber Shandwick for Beijing’s campaign. It is this experience which brings them to the forefront of the Paris campaign.

Jon Tibbs, who will act as an ‘international adviser’. said: ‘Paris bids have previously suffered from a perception of arrogance.

‘They are sensitive to this and understand that in public relations, perception is reality so they want to show the world that they are not arrogant and that they will not take anything for granted.’

He said the Parisians identified lack of international PR as their main weakness when they assessed their most recent failed bid.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) members are banned from visiting bidding cities after a scandal in 1999. But there are clear rules about what factors the IOC will take into account – including public and government support. This has increased the importance of PR to the bids.

The Paris campaign is expected to hit national and sports press and international media such as the BBC World Service and Wall Street Journal Asia.

Tibbs said: ‘Through PR we want to influence the climate of opinion around the IOC members.’

The decision on who will host the games will be made in July 2005.

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