Air Miles has declared war on rival travel company lastminute.com after the latter pulled advertising booked by Air Miles to promote its new website.
Air Miles booked an advertising campaign, created by TBWA/ London, to break on the lastminute.com website on July 1. Lastminute pulled the series when it discovered the ad was for a rival product.
The new website forms part of Air Miles’ strategy to position itself as a fully fledged travel company. Customers can carry out transactions online and pay in Air Miles, cash or a combination of both. Hotels and car hire have been added to the company’s offering.
Air Miles managing director Drew Thomson says: “Air Miles is now about much more than flights. It seems lastminute didn’t take kindly to an offer that was superior to their own and has run scared of showing our ads.”
The ad spend will be diverted elsewhere, but Thomson adds that the company will now develop some comparative advertising “that allows the consumer to draw their own conclusions about Air Miles”.
Air Miles is investing &£1m in marketing the website and has also worked with Grey Advertising to develop the concept. The company is visiting ten cities over ten days with the aim of generating 500,000 website hits. For every website hit, Air Miles will also donate miles to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which provides holidays for children with life-threatening conditions.