Airtours, Britain’s second biggest holiday company, has appointed Leeds-based Advertising Principles to handle its 7m brief (MW June 7).
The account was previously handled by Sass Panayi in Manchester. The move to Advertising Principles brings the agency’s billings to over 40m, it claims, making it the largest independent agency outside London.
Among the agencies which are understood to have pitched for the business are Lowe Howard-Spink, and two Manchester agencies, Stowe Bowden Wilson and BDH.
The review is thought to have been sparked by two factors. First, the appointment of Richard Carrick, who returned to Airtours from Granada after only six months. Second, Carnival Cruise Lines’ acquisition of a 29.5 per cent stake in the company earlier this year.
Carnival is a Miami-based cruise company best known for taking cruising into the mass-market. It puts considerable resources behind its ads and it is likely to have exerted its influence on the UK company.
The media buying remains with The Media Centre.
Airtours, which owns the travel agency chain Going Places, an-nounces its interim results today (Wednesday) which will give an indication of how summer holiday sales are going.
Figures on Airtours sales from Stats MR show its cumulative total for summer 1996 sales to the end of April was down 24 per cent, while the total market was down 12 per cent (MW June 7).