GPC wins tourism public affairs brief

LONDON - The British Tourist Authority and the English Tourism Council have hired GPC to handle a public affairs brief.

The Omnicom-owned agency replaces Westminster Strategy on a newly created brief based on political monitoring and an extranet service.

The English Tourism Council says public affairs is crucial, especially ahead of Chancellor Gordon Brown's Comprehensive Spending Review announcement in July.

The body is hoping to reverse the Government's policy of not granting the ETC a marketing budget.

ETC public affairs officer Craig Beaumont said: 'It's strange we are in place to promote and represent tourism in this country but have to do so without a marketing function.'

Meanwhile the BTA is hoping to continue its recent success in gaining extra cash from central government.

It is currently managing a £40m campaign, half of which has come from Government funds, to promote the UK abroad. GPC's Omnicom stablemate Ketchum is handling PR for that campaign (PRWeek, 29 March).

Westminster Strategy declined to repitch for the account. The GPC team reports to Beaumont and BTA head of government and corporate affairs Bernard Donoghue.

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