Walker scoops 4m First Choice

Tour operator First Choice has appointed Walker Media to handle its 4m media business after a four-way pitch between incumbent Media Insight, BMP Optimum and New PHD.

The business includes about 1m worth of business for Eclipse, the company’s direct arm. The company is putting extra money behind this brand because it believes this is becoming a growth market.

Virginia Dick, marketing communications manager, says: “The idea of the new campaign is to create impact and ensure that our product stands out. We chose Walker Media because it recognised the dynamics of the tour operator industry.”

The tour operator market is dominated by the top four – Thomson, Airtours, First Choice and Thomas Cook. It has undergone consolidation in the past year, culminating in the merger two weeks ago between Thomas Cook and US-based travel company Carlson.

First Choice is the only one of the top four without a travel agency. Some view this as a weakness. However the company says it will “make an announcement” on distribution before the end of the year.

Creative work is handled by Walsh Trott Chick Smith and is unaffected by the move.

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