The entertainment company, which operates across 22 countries and announced its flotation intentions earlier this week, has been running a summer-long pitching process for agencies.
The account covers Merlin’s theme park attractions including Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures, as well as the Heide Park Resort in Germany and Gardaland Resort in Italy.
TBWA Manchester’s brief includes launch campaigns for new rides and attractions as well as communications for the resort theme park portfolio. Account handover is currently taking place from encumbent DLKW Lowe.
Fergus McCallum, the chief executive of TBWA Manchester, said: “Merlin is the UK and Europe’s leading visitor attraction operator.
“Delivering effective communications across such a highly diverse portfolio of market-leading resort theme park brands, each of which has its own very clear positioning and profile, is not only a hugely exciting and challenging prospect, but also a great creative opportunity for the agency.”
Merlin attracted more than 54 million visitors in the year to December 29 2012, generating total revenue of £1.07bn and underlying EBITDA of £346m.
TBWA Manchester recently unveiled its first campaign for Smyths, an account it won in another hotly contested pitch earlier this year.