Travelodge hunts agency for £2m expansion task

Budget hotel brand Travelodge is looking for an advertising agency for its £2m business. The campaign forms part of the brand’s plan for expansion under its new owner.

Private equity group Permira bought Travelodge and sister company Little Chef from Compass in December for £712m. Permira said it planned “significant” investment in both brands.

Marketing director Peter Halsey is overseeing the review. He has been using Satellite Creative, based in Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, for tactical advertising but is now looking for “a bigger brand advertising agency”.

Mediaedge:CIA Manchester was appointed to handle media planning and buying in January.

Halsey was sales and marketing director until June last year when the responsibilities were split. Stuart Honey took over the sales director role (MW June 20, 2002).

Travelodge has 236 properties and plans to open more hotels this year. Grant Hearn, former Hilton UK and Ireland president and a previous managing director of low-cost rival Travel Inn, joined the new company Travelodge Little Chef in January as chief executive.

The low-cost chains have proved the most resilient in the hotel sector during the economic downturn and the drop in tourist numbers since the war on Iraq. Travel Inn, the leader in the budget sector, reported full-year results early last month showing occupancy up one per cent to 82 per cent and like-for-like sales up 6.1 per cent compared with last year.

Travel Inn recently appointed HHCL/Red Cell to its advertising account.

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