London 2012: David Cameron launches 'Great' campaign

Posters publicising the Great campaign
Image caption The publicity posters reflect the campaign's key themes

David Cameron has launched a project to promote Britain abroad to tie in with next year's London Olympics.

The "GREAT" campaign hopes to create a £1bn boost for businesses and bring in four million extra foreign tourists.

Ministers are concerned that this summer's riots in several English cities have created a "negative image" abroad which needs to be overcome.

Mr Cameron said: "In 2012 there will be only one place to be. We are determined to make the most of this opportunity."

Speaking in New York, the prime minister added: "This campaign is simple. There are so many great things about Britain and we want to send out the message loud and proud that this is a great place to do business, to invest, to study and to visit."

Posters featuring, among others, tycoon Richard Branson, animated characters Wallace and Gromit, and King Henry VIII, have been designed to sell "great" British attributes.

The UK Trade and Investment, the Culture Department, the Foreign Office, Visit Britain and other government departments will work together on the campaign to bring in the business and tourists from now and beyond 2012.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "This is not about rebranding Britain. It is about using that brand for exports and trade, more foreign tourists and to make sure we can put the record straight after some of the terrible events of this summer which created a negative image.

"I think that next year is really a time when we can tell the world what Britain is really about.

"It is a very practical, tangible programme based on something that is not new - the idea of putting the great back into Great Britain.

"If we were not doing this I think that people would be asking why we were not harnessing this absolutely unique opportunity.

"We want to do so in a way that is about jobs and prosperity."

The key campaign themes of heritage, sport, shopping, music, entrepreneurship, innovation and countryside are reflected in the posters produced to publicise the project.

However British design critic Stephen Bayley was not impressed by the display, telling The Times: "On this evidence, Great Britain does not do great ads.

"I don't blame the agency, I blame the client. A fundamental part of British greatness is self-criticism, not docile admiration of the trite and obvious."

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Weekend takes place from 2-5 June next year with the Olympics running from 27 July-12 August and the Paralympics from 29 August-9 September.

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