Irma S. Mann To Champion ‘City of Life’

The Hong Kong Tourist Association’s North American office, located in Los Angeles, has named Irma S. Mann Strategic Marketing to handle its $4 million domestic advertising business.
The Boston agency prevailed following a review of undisclosed shops, said agency representative Larry Marchese.
Irma S. Mann, which handles several travel accounts, will work closely on the assignment with the Hong Kong office of BBDO, the lead tourism agency for the Chinese territory. Some of the latter’s campaigns will likely be adapted for use in the U.S., but the Boston shop also expects to craft original work, Marchese said.
“BBDO will develop the platform for creative,” Marchese said. “Their images will influence our creative. Finding synergies to American culture [and reflecting that in ads] is our responsibility.”
TV, radio, print and direct marketing efforts are due to launch in April or May, Marchese said. All media placement will be handled by Irma S. Mann.
While it has made no concerted tourism pushes of late, Hong Kong has been billing itself as the “City of Life” since the U.K. ceded control of the territory to China nearly two years ago. That line, in some form, will likely be used in ads, Marchese said.
Upcoming campaigns will likely portray Hong Kong as one of the world’s great cities, on a par with New York, London and Paris, and enhance its image as the gateway to Asia. About 10 million people visit Hong Kong every year, with nearly one in 10 of those from the U.S. Irma S. Mann hopes to boost that figure, but has no specific goal to reach, Marchese said.
The agency has increased its billings by 25 percent in the past three months, lifting overall billings past $50 million. Recent account additions include the $6 million ad business of Sonesta International Hotels [Adweek, Nov. 16].