Visit London to overhaul identity for 2012 lead-in

LONDON - London is rebranding its global identity for the first time in five years to raise the profile of the city ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Visit London, the capital's official visitor organisation, has hired branding agency Saffron to overhaul its consumer, corporate and business branding. This includes the Visit London logo, which was created by Wolff Olins, and the Totally London identity designed by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.

The fresh branding will promote the capital as the number-one city destination and be used in all domestic and international marketing.

It will be unveiled early next year in time for the launch of Britain's four-year Cultural Olympiad, which runs from the hand-over of the Olympic flame after the Beijing Games until the end of the Paralympics in 2012.

The first ad campaign featuring the branding will launch in the UK, US and Canada in April. This will be followed by a European campaign in the summer.

Martine Ainsworth-Wells, Visit London's marketing director, said: 'London is one of the strongest global brands, but, with the growing importance of emerging markets and maturing traditional markets, it is vital that London maintains its momentum.'

Visit London is funded by the Mayor of London, the London Development Agency and London Councils, as well as the tourism industry.

The organisation receives £15m in funding annually, £10m of which is spent on marketing the city both in the UK and globally.

The rebrand follows VisitBritain's decision to review the nation's brand identity internationally and in the UK to raise its profile in an increasingly competitive global tourism environment.

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