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PARIS -- French-theme park attraction Parc Asterix is rolling out a new campaign from WPP Group-owned Red Cell, Paris, that aims to increase its profile as part of an ongoing battle for visitors against U.S. giant DisneyLand Paris.

The campaign -- a series of five colorful outdoor billboards hyping attractions at the amusement park, based on the adventures of Gallic cartoon character Asterix -- is Red Cell's first work on the account, previously handled by Omnicom Group's TBWA Worldwide, Paris.

The agency's brief is to boost stagnant attendance numbers, principally be focusing marketing efforts on the main population centers adjacent to the attraction, located north of Paris. Outdoor advertising, as well as a planned radio campaign, will be centered on the greater Paris region and other major northern French cities.

The principal obstacle for boosting attendance at Parc Asterix beyond the 2 million visitors reported in 2000 is DisneyLand Paris, Europe's top tourist attraction with 12.5 million visitors annually.

Going head-to-head to with Disney -- which spends an estimated $40 million annually on advertising by Leo Burnett Co., Paris -- will be a test of sorts for Red Cell, specifically designed by WPP to represent "challenger" brands seeking to dethrone entrenched leaders.

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