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North East wins £1m advertising campaign

Heathrow, the UK’s only hub airport, has been running a competition where the public can vote for their favourite British region to receive £1m worth of free advertising at the airport with VisitBritain. The competition on Heathrow’s Facebook page saw the North East go head-to-head with the North West, Northern Ireland and the Midlands.

The competition closed at 23.59 last night ( 4 August) and the North East successfully secured four advertisements for the region which will be shown across digital screens in all terminals at Heathrow from the end of August until the end of November 2014.  

Heathrow, the UK’s only hub airport, has been running a competition where the public can vote for their favourite British region to receive £1m worth of free advertising at the airport with VisitBritain. Around 13 million passengers a year already use Heathrow as their gateway to Britain’s regions.  This 12 month advertising partnership with VisitBritain, worth £4m, started in March and is designed to inspire passengers to explore further afield during their visit, or on future trips.

John Holland Kaye, Heathrow’s CEO, said: “I’m delighted to announce the winner of the Your Great Britain competition with Heathrow and VisitBritain is the North East. This beautiful region has really got behind the competition over the last two weeks, resulting in over 19,000 votes for the breathtaking image of Hadrian’s Wall.  

“The competition in total received over 40,000 votes for all four regions so the North East should feel proud to receive this prestigious prize. Heathrow is the gateway to Britain and sees around 73 million passengers a year travel through the airport. With seven flights a day from Heathrow to Newcastle we hope the winning images will inspire passengers to explore the beautiful North East during their visit to the UK."

David Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “Newcastle International is delighted to have played a part in securing this major £1m advertising campaign at Heathrow Airport on behalf of the North East. The way in which the region once again came together to achieve an objective proves what we are capable of if we have a common goal. Our whole is much greater than the sum of our parts. Numerous organisations and individuals played their part.  

“Can I thank everyone that supported the campaign. Such a close result, with an epic race to the finish line, really shows that every single vote counted! I also want to thank Heathrow Airport and VisitBritain for providing us with this opportunity. Heathrow Airport is a critically important hub for the region, with BA carrying close to half a million passengers a year, making it our biggest single airline service.”

Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, which markets NewcastleGateshead nationally and internationally, said: "The whole region really rallied behind the competition and there was a tremendous last push to secure a win for the North East.  

“It was evident from all of the social media activity that there is a great sense of pride in the region and it was this passion that really made the difference in the eleventh hour; we literally pipped Northern Ireland to the post with just a few hundred extra votes! £1m worth of free advertising at one of the world’s busiest airports will provide a significant boost, profiling the region to potential visitors and investors from around the globe. Thank you to everyone who supported the campaign and voted in the competition – every last vote really did count.”

North East Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, James Ramsbotham, said: “The fact that we gained 10,000 votes on the final day, bridging a significant gap to win in the final minute of the competition was hugely dramatic and is another example of how the North East mobilises for the greater good and how proud we are of our magnificent region. The efforts of people and businesses across social media over the last two weeks have been absolutely amazing.         

“Securing £1m of free marketing at one of the world’s largest airports can provide a significant boost to the North East visitor economy and provide us with the opportunity to showcase the North East and all its many attractions to people from across the globe.”    

Joss Croft, Marketing Director at VisitBritain said: “Every vote really did count in this competition as the decision went right to the wire with over 40,000 votes registered in just a few weeks. I was delighted to see such collective campaigning across the winning region with tweets from Newcastle United FC, Sunderland AFC, local airports and the North East’s tourism industry all urging locals to get behind their area. It clearly worked, and now the beauty of the North East will be seen by millions of overseas visitors each day as part of VisitBritain’s GREAT campaign.”

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