Portuguese plan Euro 2004 crisis PR

The Portuguese Tourist Office (ICEP) is preparing for Euro 2004 by enlisting BGB & Associates for a crisis management brief.

The notorious hooligan element of England’s football fans will be under intense media scrutiny during the three-week tournament. BGB has been charged with protecting Portugal’s reputation in the UK as a tourist destination by ICEP and the Portuguese Embassy in London.

‘There will be a lot of media around with a lot of time in between matches,’ said BGB director Helen Coop.

‘Portugal has a reputation to maintain as a destination for families and wider groups. If English fans go on a rampage, for example, we need to put forward the message that it is an issue peculiar to Euro 2004,’ said Coop. ‘There are all sorts of issues that need to be addressed when dealing with such a large number of visitors, such as accommodation, pricing, infrastructure, transport, industrial relations and, of course, terrorism.’

BGB, which handles UK PR for Tourismo de Lisboa, pitched for ICEP’s PR account in March, although a decision is not due to be made until July.

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