Yesterday, the Fijian government banned inbound tourists as flash flooding wreaked havoc. But, after a global pitch thought to have received more than 60 submissions, it's thought Colenso BBDO will now be responsible for trying to get more of them to visit after beating out agencies from New Zealand, Australia and the US to become the new global agency for Tourism Fiji.
Colenso's managing director Nick Garrett kept his lips sealed and put us on to pitch consultant David Kinnear, who wasn't giving anything away either. He put us on to Tourism Fiji's acting chief executive Michael Mead, who would neither confirm or deny the rumours we had heard and said they'd be making an announcement next week.
Almost like an episode of Survivor, it's thought all the agencies involved in the pitch were staying in the same hotel in Fiji last week (and they escaped just in time). And the rumoured contenders were the local incumbent Barnes, Catmur & Friends (which is thought to have joined forces with Leo Burnett in Oz and will be disappointed to have lost after the stellar work it's done on the account since winning it in August 2009), Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney, R&R (which holds the Las Vegas tourism account), LA's 72 & Sunny and local digital and social specialists Contagion.
PMA Communications Group was the Australian incumbent and its US advertising was handled by Marchese Communications.
The pitch followed on from an extensive destination marketing audit completed in late 2011 that highlighted the opportunities available to Tourism Fiji in taking a global approach to brand communications.
If Colenso has won the account, it will be responsible for developing a new Tourism Fiji global brand idea and communications style, which will be adopted and implemented locally in each of Tourism Fiji’s international markets. It will also be required to implement media campaigns in New Zealand.
Like many smaller tourism markets with minimal budgets, Fiji is also looking to up the ante in the digital realm, and the pitch also involved the development of a world class website designed for consumers, trade and media, as well as a strong digital strategy to back that up.