The Argentine government has contracted Britain’s Bell Pottinger's international PR division to raise its profile in Europe and the Untied States as a business and tourism hub, according to reports in the Buenos Aires press later confirmed by the company.
Bell Pottinger Sans Frontieres will manage the Argentina nation-brand campaign to boost tourism, exp¬ort campaigns and attract investment to the country.
The brief is thought to be worth close to seven figures. One of Bell Pottinger’s first tasks will be to manage the country’s communications on the G20 meeting of world leaders in London later this week.
Bell Pottinger Sans Frontieres senior consultant Abel Hadden said: “Argentina is a member of the G20 and a major world player. Having weathered its own financial crisis in 2001, Argentina can contribute to the present global dialogue and at the same time create a better understanding of what the country is doing, and why and how it is doing it”.
Bell Pottinger is likely to use future overseas visits from President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to generate coverage of the country and promote its key messages via the media.
The agency will promote Argentina together with Latin America specialist Emerging Markets PR which is the country’s retained tourism agency. From 2005 to 2007, Bell Pottinger was retained by Argentina’s Ministry of Tourism.
The Argentine government launched in early December 2007, a few days before Mrs. Kirchner took office as president, the portal www.argentina.ar with data on the country’s tourism, economic, culture, sports and sciences opportunities. The idea was precisely to impose the brand name Argentina globally.
At the time President Cristina Kirchner said “I dream with the brand name Argentina so our entrepreneurs can export more and better products overseas, because that is the only way to become world known”.
According to reports in the Buenos Aires press the international PR effort “is not related to politics or promoting Mrs. Kirchner whose public opinion standing remains quite low”.