Air ambulance service in ‘flying billboard’ initiative

The UK’s 14 air ambulance operators could join forces to position their helicopters as high-profile marketing opportunities following a commercial initiative by a Midlands service.

Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance has hired its first PR agency to promote the service as a commercial marketing
entity. 'We don't want to go in front of companies and be treated as a charity,' said the service's director, Andy Williamson.

'We are offering decision makers a brand-awareness marketing tool that flies five or six missions a day and is seen by millions of people,' he added.

Williamson said if the campaign was a success, he would approach other services and draw up plans for a national air ambulance day.
'The 14 air ambulance services in the UK are all charities,' he said.
'An annual awareness day would raise the profile of the work we do and promote the commercial opportunities an air ambulance can offer.'

Oxford-based Bottle PR has been given a brief to create media interest in the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire service, which operates without any government funding.

Bottle senior consultant Paul Sutton, who previously worked with the Essex Air Ambulance service, leads the account. 'Essentially it's a B2B campaign with a consumer angle, which will include publicity stunts and celebrity tie-ins,' he said.

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