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World Expo finds marketing partners
By Huo Yongzhe and Wang Xu (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-05-17 22:53

The World Expo to be held in this city in 2010 launched its marketing development programme yesterday by teaming up with two partners with an aim to gain insight and expertise before embarking on a ground-breaking marketing campaign.

Local residents wave farewell to their 37-year-long neighbours in this April 10, 2005 file photo. Residents in the district were to be relocated away to make room for the buildings for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. [newsphoto/file]
New York-listed US firm Interpublic Group (IPG) outperformed a number of rivals in a two-month-long race to become a planner of the Shanghai World Expo's marketing campaign, backed by its help in securing the World Expo for Shanghai three years ago.

According to a deal signed yesterday, the company, one of the largest advertising and marketing consulting firms in the world, will dispatch a 30-strong team to the city to finalize a detailed marketing plan for the expo by mid-June which will become the marketing blueprint of the international event.

The plan will cover several key areas, including brand sponsorship, licensing, operational activities, visitor organization and marketing for the commercial projects.

Further areas include the development budget, promotional activities, taxation and co-ordinating with related government departments.

"A month is not a long time, and IPG already had its team ready for the programme," said Shao Ning, managing director of Powell Tate Weber Shandwick, a subsidiary of IPG, and the second partner.

Although the company is not expected to make big money from the deal, Shao said it would put IPG in a better position when seeking business for later events.

By bringing in more international expertise, the event will become more attractive to overseas investors, said Dai Liu, vice-president of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Co-ordination.

But the expo's marketing will not be over the top, said Zhuo Yupeng, vice-mayor of Shanghai.

His words were echoed by a pledge made in March by the organizers of the expo who said the marketing campaign would not be excessive during the event.

"The marketing development will follow the Bureau of International Exposition's regulations, and the funds gathered will all be used for operations of the Shanghai World Expo," said Zhou.

Dai said the funds for the 2010 expo would not only come from the marketing campaign, but also from the government and donations from enterprises and individuals.

China Mobile became the Shanghai World Expo's first official partner this year, and will provide funds and mobile telecom services to the event throughout 2005.

"It is only a one-year contract, but China Mobile will be in a better position for the coming partnership selection," said Dai.

He said the co-ordination bureau will unveil its 2005 partnership lists from several other sectors in the near future, including fixed line operations, aviation and hospitality.

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