Hit by the tragedies of September 11 and the global economic downturn, Britain's tourism industry has abandoned its much-mocked ‘Cool Britannia’ theme in favour of a snappier and less risible tagline, ‘UKOK’.

A £6 million international ad campaign by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO was unveiled yesterday at the Tower of London by culture, media and sport secretary Tessa Jowell. Hyped the minister: “It is time to remind everyone that Britain is a vibrant and exciting place to visit, particularly in the year of the Queen's Golden Jubilee and the Commonwealth Games. 'UKOK' does just that by featuring some fantastic deals for potential visitors to Britain.”

The campaign, under the auspices of the British Tourist Authority, is funded by over one thousand tourism-dependent UK businesses including British Airways. It breaks at the end of January in seven key overseas markets: Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the USA.

‘UKOK’? BTA chairman David Quarmby explains: “[It] stood out because of its simplicity and emotional impact. It is an expression of pride in Britain, inclusive of all parts of Britain, a statement of fact and an open invitation to visit. It provides visitors with reassurance, while allowing even very small companies to reach the overseas markets they so desperately need to help their businesses recover.”

News source: AdAge Global