Beijing Olympic 2008 bid hunts Euro shop

Organisers of Beijing's bid to host the 2008 Olympics are searching

for a PR agency to help improve China's image in Europe.



A decision on who will host the event is being taken on 13 July by the

International Olympic Committee, and China is anxious that global

condemnation of human rights abuses does not stand in the way of its

selection.



Representatives from both Weber Shandwick Worldwide and Bell Pottinger

have already met with The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Bid Committee in an

attempt to gain work in Europe.



WSW last month secured a deal with the committee to handle PR in the US

and carry out media monitoring in Asia and Europe.



'We are a global company and are already carrying out work for the

committee in the US and media monitoring elsewhere. It makes sense to

use us globally,' said Michael Holtzman, WSW senior vice-president

public affairs and director in New York, who heads the existing

account.



Jon Tibbs, MD of Bell Pottinger ESP, the sports and entertainment

division, headed the team that met the Beijing committee earlier this

month.



He said: 'We have talked over a number of areas such as media relations,

political advice. We want to be involved.'



Four other cities are angling for the 2008 games: Paris, Toronto,

Istanbul and Osaka in Japan.



Beijing narrowly missed out on staging the 2000 games which were held in

Sydney.



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