INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Swiss to change image from chocolate todemocracy

WASHINGTON: At least three agencies - MWW, Fleishman-Hillard and

Ogilvy - are competing for a three-year, dollars 4.5 million

image-enhancement and education campaign for Switzerland.



The winner of the contract will be charged with 're-branding'

Switzerland in the eyes of Americans. 'When people think of Switzerland

now, they think of chocolate, skiing and a place to hide your money,'

said an executive from one of the agencies. 'They want people to

recognize that this is the home of humanitarianism, pluralism, and civic

democracy. These people are not stuck in time.'



Part of the campaign will also involve educating Americans about the

country. 'People seem to be confused between Switzerland, Sweden and The

Netherlands. No one seems to know who speaks what language or what to

call them,' said the executive.



According to the RFP (largely translated from German), the campaign's

targets will be current and future 'opinion leaders,' the latter defined

as 10-18 year olds. 'They are very interested in reaching kids who are

'destined' to be opinion leaders in the future,' said the source.



Final pitches were made in the last weeks of March and a decision will

be made April 6. An announcement is expected the week of April 9.



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