Beenz marketing chief to join online travel portal

Online Travel Portal, a joint venture backed by nine national airlines, has appointed Beenz.com chief Nicolas de Santis as marketing director.

De Santis joins from Beenz, the digital currency provider, where he was chief marketing officer and senior vice-president.

De Santis has been replaced at Beenz by Dale Clements, who has been promoted from the post of European marketing director.

The travel portal, which is set to launch at the end of this year or early next year, is backed by British Airways, Aer Lingus, Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, Finnair, Iberia, KLM and Lufthansa.

The portal appointed ad agency BMP DDB at the end of last year, and De Santis will be in charge of a £30m advertising budget.

De Santis joined Beenz in 1999 from branding group Twelve Stars, where he was president. He was in charge of creating the identity for Beenz as well as advising the European Community on issues relating to European identity and the Euro.

As marketing director, de Santis will focus on the marketing and brand strategy for the website’s launch in nine European countries.

The portal will sell travel related products and services online. It will aim to give consumers access to a wide range of deals across a broad range of airlines, including companies which are not shareholders in the venture.

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