Thomson Holidays axes ad and brand chief post

Thomson Holidays is understood to be axing Breffni Walsh’s position of head of advertising and branding. It follows a decision to concentrate more of the company’s &£8m advertising budget on direct marketing.

Walsh, who joined Thomson in August 1999, is understood to be waiting to be offered another post within Preussag-owned TUI group.

TUI UK, the holding company for both the Thomson and Lunn Poly brands, is restructuring following a merger of the two divisions. It is expected to announce the results of a redundancy review this month. Casualties already include Thomson marketing director Thom Noble.

Walsh joined Thomson from Forte Hotels, where she was sales support and trade marketing director. Before that she was the first marketing director at Burton Group’s Dorothy Perkins chain, which she left in January 1997. She has also held positions at Facia and Unilever.

The rationalisation of TUI UK’s marketing is being overseen by marketing director Hugh Edwards, formerly marketing and new media director at Lunn Poly. He is also reviewing the advertising accounts with a view to consolidation – Thomson’s advertising is through HHCL & Partners, while Lunn Poly retains WCRS.

Thomson is running a &£70,000 print campaign to push offers, including discounts of up to 20 per cent, in its winter 2002/2003 brochure.

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