Home News Local news V.I. TO KEEP AD ACCOUNT WITH J. WALTER THOMPSON

V.I. TO KEEP AD ACCOUNT WITH J. WALTER THOMPSON

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Sept. 23, 2003 – The V.I. government gave the nod on Tuesday to one of the world's largest advertising agencies to continue managing its tourism ad budget in 2004.
"J. Walter Thompson, based in New York, has successfully defended the Virgin Islands tourism account," according to a report online at Adweek.com, a subscription industry publication Web site.
The award actually went to the Atlanta division of WPP Group, which owns J. Walter Thompson and another large ad agency, Ogilvy and Mather. JWT has handled the V.I. advertising since 2001, when Oglivy and Mather, which had held the contract, closed its Atlanta operations.
Tuesday's decision to award the account to JWT capped days of negotiations between government officials and the finalists bidding for the V.I. contract. The companies made their presentations on St. Thomas. According to knowledgeable sources, the selection committee included representatives of the V.I. Justice, Property and Procurement and Tourism Departments.
Adweek.com reported on Tuesday that the Atlanta WPP Group agency bested three other finalists: New York's BBDO; Sanna Mattson MacLeod in Smithtown, New York; and the Campbell Group in Baltimore.
No details of the deal were announced. Tourism Department and JWT officials could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.
According to TNS Media Intelligence, V.I. advertising expenditures for 2002 amounted to $7 million, and the V.I. government expended about $1 million on advertising in the first quarter of this year. The territory has for years lagged far behind rival Caribbean destinations in the amount of money it budgets for tourism advertising.
JWT is the world's oldest professional advertising agency and the fourth largest. It promotes itself as presenting "a total branding approach to marketing and advertising." It has 9,200 employees in 315 offices in 90 countries, including a presence in San Juan. For more information about the company, visit the JWT World Web site.

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