Counting the cost of crisis: On eve of key meeting ETRC unveils income and costs of aviation security campaign – 27/03/07

EUROPE. The European Travel Retail Council (ETRC) yesterday published a financial statement relating to the Aviation Security Campaign it has waged since the UK terror alert last August. Underlining the heavy cost of consultancy, it said that further industry contributions to the fund will be necessary in order to achieve “a lasting solution” to the problem”.

For the period August-December 2006 the ETRC received industry contributions of €277,452. It spent €272,969, leaving a balance of just €4,483 by the end of 2006. In 2007 the ETRC has received a further €362,096. Expenditure for January and February combined reached €146,604 – leaving a fund balance of €219,975. At the current rate of expenditure that leaves a three to four month fighting fund at best (see *Comment below).

Some €420,000 has been spent to date in Europe. Frankly, that and any top-up is chicken feed if a “˜lasting solution’ is garnered

Where did the money go? Answer: On consultancy fee payments (including Hume Brophy Communications in Brussels) in respect of representational activity with all relevant official bodies – the Commission of the European Union, Member State Governments, the European Parliament, International Civil Aviation Organization, European Civil Aviation Conference – and with industry partners – Airports Council International, International Air Transport Association and many supplier organisations.

The ETRC also said the costs included the work involved in the preparation of a large number of position papers, and all travel costs arising from numerous meetings across Europe and in Canada. They also cover the management of all associated media activity, both with the trade press [journalist briefings] and national and international media.

ETRC Company Secretary Barry Goddard said: “The ETRC is very pleased that so many companies across all sectors of the duty free and travel retail business have generously contributed to the campaign. Whilst we are particularly grateful to those companies who have made large donations, we also wish to acknowledge the contributions made by a considerable number of small companies in supporting the campaign.

“Although the campaign fund has sufficient resources for the immediate future, this will be a very long and arduous campaign which is likely to last for most of this year, if not longer. Further contributions to the campaign fund will therefore be necessary in order to ensure that we have sufficient resources to achieve a lasting solution to the problem.”


* = Contribution of €20,000 or more
** = Contribution of €50,000 or more


Amsterdam Airport Schiphol**
Athens International Airport
CTC-ARI Airports Ltd (Cyprus)
Dublin Airport Authority
Macquarie Bank Ltd
Munich Airport
Rome Airport


Aer Rianta Retail
Alpha Airports Group
Belgian Sky Shops
DFS Group
Dubai Duty Free
Gebr Heinemann**
Hellenic Duty Free Shops
Kappe International**
Mello Trading
The Nuance Group
James Richardson
World Duty Free**


Bacardi Martini*
British American Tobacco
Brown Forman
Camus Cognac
Christian Dior
Elizabeth Arden
Estee Lauder Companies**
Givenchy Parfums
William Grant & Sons
Guylian Belgium
CG Hibbert Ltd
Inter Parfums
Imperial Tobacco
Kenzo Parfums
Maxxium Global Travel Retail*
Nestlé International Travel Retail
P&G Prestige
Pernod Ricard**
Philip Morris
YSL Beaute


AETRE – Associaciớn Española de Travel Retail
APTRA – Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association
ATRI – Associazione Travel Retail Italia
BTRA -Benelux Travel Retail Association
Duty Free News International
Frontier Magazine (Metropolis Publishing)
Generation Group
Marshall Lightfoot Ltd
Moodie International (The Moodie Report)
Nordic Travel Retail Group
Seychelles Marketing Board
Young Promotions GmbH


KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Finnair Catering

*COMMENT: The timing of the top-line financial statement is no accident. Tomorrow the ETRC hosts a key industry Forum in Amsterdam at which Marjeta Jager, the European Commission’s Director of Transport Security, will give the keynote speech. The event is intended as a show of strength to underline the travel retail industry’s concern at the damage being done to it by the post-November 2006 security regulations.

The financial statement makes interesting reading – and lessons must be drawn from it.

Some 67 organisations have contributed, including 27 suppliers, 15 retailers, 14 miscellaneous (press, trade associations), 2 airlines (both involved in travel retail), and just nine airports or airport groups.

Who will fund “˜stage two’? The same players? Why aren’t more companies contributing – especially airports?

The cost of consultancy and related campaign activities is running at a whopping €60,000 a month. Doing business in Brussels is not cheap and it is clear that the money is about to run out again.

So what happens next? This campaign won’t be won or lost in the next quarter. As Goddard says, further contributions to the campaign fund will therefore be necessary in order to ensure that sufficient resources are in place to achieve what he describes as a “lasting solution”.

Lots of questions need to be asked – and the ETRC is exactly right to provoke them by publishing its statements now.

Who will fund “˜stage two’? The same players? Why aren’t more companies contributing – especially airports? Is this the right way to fund such a campaign – and is there any alternative?

Some €420,000 has been spent to date in Europe. Frankly, that and any top-up is chicken feed if a “˜lasting solution’ is garnered. But remember that is only the European figure. This is a global problem – significant money is being spent in Asia Pacific and the Americas too, in particular.

The Moodie Report firmly believes that once this crisis is over – and we believe it will be resolved positively – a less reactive, more global approach to funding industry lobbying and communication is vital.

Send us your comment
What do you think about the next step? Who should fund the campaign?Comment

There are too many differences and not enough co-ordination between the many associations in this business. Parochialism is rife. If travel retail wants a voice it should have a strong global voice drawn from equally strong regional representation. If the Duty Free World Council was destined to be an impotent body why all the hoopla about creating it in the first place? The great unanswered question of recent months is why the travel retail industry has not acted as a collective international force. It’s an awkward question but it must be addressed in the future.

Let’s see a global body funded, staffed (a CEO and a full-time Research and Communications Director) and equipped to anticipate industry problems, highlight the virtues of an industry that often seems unable to communicate them, and provide the business at large with the skills and knowledge needed to carry it through good days and bad.

Whether you agree with that scenario or not – and there are influential voices in Europe who do not, who would prefer to see better-funded regional offices – a longer-term, more flexible approach to how this ‘industry’ manages (and anticipates) its own affairs is crucial. World Duty Free Managing Director Mark Riches spoke at the recent ACI Airport Business & Trinity Forum about setting up small ‘rapid response units’ at moments of crisis comprising the best minds and skill-sets in the business. That’s a great idea and politics need to be brushed aside in assembling such groupings.

In the meantime it’s simply a case of helping ETRC’s impressive lobbying effort (and remember there are huge amounts of unpaid time going in there also) as well as IAADFS and APTRA to get the job done. That means funding and there’s only one possible source – the industry itself. There is no place to hide.

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