Agencies emerged last week in the review for Bermuda's $12 million tourism account, while the island of Aruba hired a consultant to manage a review for its estimated $7-10 million ad business.
Management consulting firm Pile and Co. in Boston is overseeing the search for the Aruba Tourism Authority and is in the process of identifying potential contenders, sources said. Officials with Aruba tourism and Pile and Co. could not be reached.
Atlanta-based incumbent Fitzgerald & Co., a unit of the Interpublic Group of Cos., will likely be invited to defend the Aruba business. Fitzgerald officials said they were unaware a review had begun. Spending has been in the $2-3 million range in recent years but is being touted as $7-10 million for the review, and that increase is a prime mover in the decision to conduct an agency search, sources said.
On the Bermuda Department of Tourism's invitation-only list to pitch are: Arnold Communications and Trinity Communications, both in Boston; incumbent DDB Needham Worldwide, Hill, Holliday/Altschiller and Margeotes/Fertitta + Partners, all in New York; Eisner & Associates in Baltimore; and McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, N.C., sources said.
There may be other contenders as well, sources said, as 15 or more agencies were asked to participate. A number of shops said they tried to get into the review after it was reported to be in play but were rebuffed.
Director of Bermuda tourism Gary Phillips and acting assistant director of marketing Cherie Whitter did not return calls by press time last week.
According to the invitation letter Phillips sent, however, the agencies intending to pitch the business must be prepared to move quickly. The letter went out in December, and the client wants new ads on the air in April.
Shops that want to make it to the next round must submit 14 copies of their proposals to the client by Jan. 20. Those chosen will make formal presentations to the committee the week of Jan. 25. --with staff reports