Burkitt in £3.5m Center Parcs win

Upmarket holiday resort operator Center Parcs has appointed Burkitt DDB to handle its &£3.5m account following a two-way pitch against incumbent Bates.

The business includes the Oasis Forest Holiday Village in the Lake District, which was bought by Center Parcs last summer. The Oasis incumbent was Senior King.

The pitch was overseen by Center Parcs sales and marketing director Jennie Ayres. Media planning and buying, through Zenith Media, is not affected by the decision.

It is understood that Center Parcs plans to increase its ad spend to more than &£5m in an effort to attract tourists who are keener on holidaying at home since the terrorist attacks last September.

Ayres says: “2002 is a time of great development for Center Parcs – integrating Oasis into the brand and the business. We are very much on the front foot. The business is performing well and bookings are strong.”

Burkitt DDB deputy managing director Julian Calderara says: “Center Parcs is a great brand and despite operating at remarkable levels of occupancy – over 90 per cent – there is room to improve performance.”

Last year Center Parcs parted company with its below-the-line agency, Euro RSCG Direct, as part of a cost-cutting drive. It is believed that the company is planning to take its direct-marketing work in house.

Last year Deutsche Bank bought Center Parcs from brewer Scottish & Newcastle.

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