Expedia names director to handle £12m budget

Expedia.co.uk, the online travel company, has appointed Elysa Chowdhury as its marketing director. She will oversee a £12m advertising budget.

Marketing responsibilities have been handled by interim marketing director Rebecca Butler since the sudden departure of Beverly Shaw last December. Shaw was promoted to director of marketing for Europe at Expedia parent company IAC Travel last December but left after three weeks.

Chowdhury has held a number of marketing positions including marketing manager for Typhoo at Premier Foods. He joined Expedia as marketing manager this year.

Shaw, a former Coca-Cola marketer, appointed Clemmow Hornby Inge to handle Expedia’s advertising business in January last year (MW January 9 2003). The agency developed a television, press and outdoor campaign for Expedia with the strapline “What’s your perfect trip”. The company is reviewing its online creative account held by Arnold Interactive, and the AAR is running the pitch (MW June 17).

Expedia is competing with traditional tour operators and rival online brands such as lastminute.com, ebookers.com and Travelocity. Chowdhury is tasked with building brand awareness, driving website traffic and overseeing products and services.

IAC Travel, a US company led by chief executive Barry Diller, bought Expedia in March 2003 and also owns TV Travel Shop, Match.com, Hotels.com and Ticket-master.

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