The Sri Lankan government has picked Manning Selvage and Lee to
manage a pounds 3 million communications programme aimed at promoting
inward investment and tourism in the country.
Plans for an image building programme were revealed by the government
early last year when the Board of Investment approached
Burson-Marsteller and other firms about a campaign to boost foreign
investment. The brief was then expanded after the Ministry of Tourism,
the Sri Lanka Tea Board and other organisations joined the consortium to
back the project.
Seven agencies submitted tenders and four were eventually shortlisted:
MS&L, The Rowland Company, Hill and Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller.
Appointed last week, MS&L will handle a media relations programme
designed to shed Sri Lanka’s reputation as a war zone. Investment
confidence and the tourism industry have been badly hit by 14 years of
conflict between government forces and separatist Tamil Tigers in the
north and east of the country.
Manning Selvage and Lee director Alasdair Sutherland said that the
agency will stress that most violence occurs on the Jaffna peninsular
and away from tourist districts and the capital Colombo. ’We hope to
demonstrate that the government is doing everything it can to resolve
the problem, that the terrorists only represent a small minority and to
sell the magic of Sri Lanka,’ he said.
Work will focus on Sri Lanka’s main tourism markets -Germany, the UK and
India - will additional assignments in South Korea and Japan.