The government of Ontario in Canada is ploughing an estimated
pounds 8 million into a PR, advertising and research campaign to
encourage inward investment in the province.
Based in Toronto, the government has hired Hill and Knowlton to mount a
huge public relations programme across the US, UK, Germany and Japan to
draw attention to Ontario’s economic attractions.
The agency beat Shandwick, Edelman and Fleishman-Hillard to land the
account, which involves targeting business media in each of the key
markets and organising a series of events.
Hill and Knowlton will also support the activities of Ontario premier
Michael Harris and economic development and trade minister Bill
Saunderson who will embark on an aggressive business marketing tour. A
large part of the account will be handled from London.
Michael Coates, Hill and Knowlton’s president in Canada, said that the
agency would highlight recent changes to Ontario’s labour laws, tax
reforms and other legislative measures which might appeal to foreign
companies considering whether to set up operations in the province. The
publicly funded healthcare system - which does not require funding from
employers - could also act as an incentive, he said.
Economic forecasts predict that Ontario will move further out of
recession this year, with an anticipated 3.5 per cent growth in gross
The automobile industry in particular is set to grow. Ontario exported
pounds 868 million worth of goods to the UK last year.