Thomson to shake up its marketing

Thomson Holidays is doubling the size of its marketing department as a result of a review masterminded by marketing director Shaun Powell. Powell, who joined from Barclaycard last May, will place more emphasis on branding with the creation of a number of new posts and business units. “Branding will be a lot more important to the travel industry in the future and we want to make Thomson spring to mind for service, not just pricing,” adds Powell. Former Somerfield brand marketing controller Andrea Perducov will become Thomson’s first head of advertising and branding. Dave Burling is being promoted to the new position of head of brand management and development. Thomson’s annual advertising budget is 6m, spent through BMP DDB, and it has a total marketing budget of 30m. New business units include direct and database marketing, which will be headed by Deborah Merrifield, who is head of relationship marketing for Midland Bank at present. Thomson will also look for a direct marketing agency to build customer relationships in association with travel agents. A new innovations unit will look at electronic channels including the Internet, digital broadcasting and the possible launch of a smartcard. It will be managed by former Unilever product development manager Nicola Meadley, who will be supported by two marketing managers from Barclaycard – Derek Craig and Lisa Ray. Communications director Russell Amerasekera has filled the head of advertising post since October 1996 but will now focus on the “cultural development” of the organisation internally.

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