Avis hires Cairns for PR brief in UK

Europe’s largest car rental company Avis has hired Cairns & Associates as its UK consumer and trade PR agency, after a four-way pitch.

Details of the account, which will make the agency the firm’s retained consumer and trade adviser for 2004, are now being hammered out. In the interim, the agency is being asked to handle a series of projects for the rest of this year.

Avis UK brand marketing manager Kirsteen Robertson said: ‘We will be working on the development of the PR strategy with Cairns, so that we can reap the benefit of a new approach and fresh ideas.’

Robertson would not comment on the pitch or agencies involved, but it’s understood that two-year incumbent Brighter PR repitched.

The account will be run by Cairns & Associates deputy managing director Charlotte Clarke with a team of four.

Clarke said the team would probably be expanded next year, in anticipation of a major marketing and PR drive, details of which are under wraps.

One of the key aims for the projects Cairns will be working on this year, is to raise awareness of the Avis brand slogan, ‘We Try Harder’, which the company first adopted in a US ad campaign in 1963, said Robertson.

‘We are trying to make the We Try Harder proposition that Avis has built on really relevant to the UK leisure and business rental market,’ added Clarke.

Clarke said one of the first projects to be undertaken by the agency, will be a forum – to be run in October – for Avis executives to meet the travel and trade press. The appointment comes at a time of increased competition from rivals such as easyCar.

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