Cunard Line hires European chief as it expands operations

Luxury cruise operator Cunard Line has appointed Peter Shanks to the newly created role of senior vice-president for Europe.

The position is a result of the company expanding its operations and readying for the launch of the “mega-liner” Queen Mary II in January 2004.

Shanks, previously managing director UK distribution for First Choice Holidays, has overall responsibility for marketing, sales, shoreside services and guest relations activities.

Director of marketing for Europe, Middle East and Africa Stuart Perl reports to Shanks. TBWA/Worldwide handles the Cunard Line account internationally, while Manning Gottlieb OMD handles media planning and buying in the UK. The company spent &£961,000 on advertising in the UK in the year to March (AC Nielsen MEAL). Shanks says that he will not be calling an agency review in the immediate future.

Shanks was axed by First Choice in a cost-saving restructure last September. He joined the company in 1996 from Thomas Cook, where he was commercial director.

As well as the Queen Mary II, Cunard Line will introduce another ship by 2005, making the UK responsible for more than 70 per cent of Cunard’s business.

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