Sun, Sea and Agencies

Aruba Holds Review as Bermuda Eyes List
ATLANTA–Agencies emerged last week in the review for Bermuda’s tourism account, while the island of Aruba hired a consultant to manage a review for its own ad business.
Pile and Co. in Boston is overseeing the search for the Aruba Tourism Authority, sources said. Neither Pile nor the client could be reached.
Incumbent Fitzgerald & Co., Atlanta, a unit of the Interpublic Group of Cos., will likely be invited to defend. Fitzgerald officials said they were unaware a review had started. Aruba’s spending has been in the $2-3 million range in recent years, but is being touted as $7-10 million for the review. That increase is a factor in the decision to search for another agency, sources said.
On the Bermuda Department of Tourism’s list are: Arnold Communications and Trinity Communications, both Boston; New York shops Hill, Holliday/Altschiller, incumbent DDB Needham Worldwide and Margeotes/Fertitta + Partners; Eisner & Associates, Baltimore; and McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C., sources said. There may be other contenders for the $12 million business, sources said, as 15 or more agencies were asked to participate.
Director of Bermuda tourism Gary Phillips and acting assistant director of marketing Cherie Whitter did not return calls.
Agencies intending to pitch the business must be prepared to move quickly. Shops that want to make it to the next round must submit their proposals to the client by Jan. 20. Those chosen will make formal presentations to the committee the week of Jan. 25. A decision is expected shortly thereafter as the client wants new ads on the air in April.
Driving the review, according to Phillips’ correspondence, is a decline in visitors to Bermuda, particularly from North America. The island has suffered, in part, due to stepped up marketing efforts from other players in the region. –with staff report