Saatchi, Rowland to promote European Space Agency

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PARIS -- The European Space Agency has appointed Saatchi & Saatchi, Paris, and sister public relations firm The Rowland Company, London, to develop a corporate brand and communications strategy. This is the organization's first agency appointment.

The Saatchi/Rowland team will come up with the strategy before Christmas in preparation for its roll-out in the first quarter of 1999. The aim is to publicise European space activities and achievements outside the space industry.

The joint agency team came through competition with six others, finally winning from a shortlist of three.

Its plan is to research public attitudes across Europe and talk to senior figures in the manufacturing sector and in the ESA's customer organizations. It will look at initiatives including joint marketing projects with major corporate and product brands.

Until now the ESA has kept a very low profile, admits Director-General Antonia Rodota. "However, we realize that if we are to continue to use money from the taxpayers of Europe to develop space activities, we need to explain what we are doing and what benefits out activities are bringing," she says.

Stephen Colegrave, Saatchi's marketing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, says the ESA could become a "tremendously strong" brand. "People are interested in space but very few people are aware of the achievements of the European space industry and the ESA," he notes. "It is our task to unlock this potential."

Copyright October 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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