Ogilvy scoops ESA space station brief

Ogilvy Brand Relations has won the £600,000 account to assist in a PR and branding campaign for the International Space Station.

The European Space Agency (ESA), which jointly leads the tender with its Canadian counterpart, said Ogilvy - which beat off five competitors - would help ESA develop the station's brand image, design a comms strategy and provide comms support on a 12-month rolling contract.

The programme, which will apply to European interests of the ISS, will mainly target the research and development community.

According to ESA, private firms have traditionally been reluctant to carry out R&D programmes in space because of the costs involved, uncertain returns and the difficulties associated with space flight.

The ESA hopes the improved space station and associated comms programme will drive the creation of a new market for space-based R&D. Ideas being considered by ESA to maximise commercial potential include sponsorship, product placement and space tourism.

Of the £600,000 budget £445,000 is earmarked for comms support, £127,000 for brand creation for EAS and £22,000 for brand creation for the Canadian space agency.

ISS commercialisation division head Maurizio Belingheri said while the account would be reviewed on a one-year rolling contract basis, Ogilvy had been asked to plan for three years ahead.

Ogilvy Brand Relations is a newly formed amalgamation of the three Ogilvy divisions based in Brussels, Ogilvy Health and Medical, O&M and Ogilvy Public Relations - formed specially for the bid.

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