WS tapped to help sell Westerners on cotton from Egypt

WASHINGTON: Weber Shandwick is launching a campaign on behalf of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Trade to promote Egyptian cotton in America and Europe, while offering new impressions of the country around the world.

WASHINGTON: Weber Shandwick is launching a campaign on behalf of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Trade to promote Egyptian cotton in America and Europe, while offering new impressions of the country around the world.

As its main agricultural export, cotton is a vital part of Egypt's economy, comprising $2.6 billion in annual trade. But consumers in Europe and America have little awareness of Egyptian cotton. The two-year project, worth between $3 million and $5 million, will seek to reverse that through advertising and "a host of on-the-ground marketing activities," according to WS chairman Jack Leslie.

Intrinsic to the campaign, however, is the understanding of how a product can change impressions of a country. Leslie said many Arab businesspeople see the post-war climate as an opportune time to reinvigorate trade relationships in the West.

"There is a very high interest in the last week or so in being much more proactive in the short-term in order to get relationships back on course and to rebuild a number of programs that were put into hiatus" before the war, Leslie said.

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