James Villa calls £2.5m media pitch

James Villa Holidays is reviewing its planning and buying business, estimated to be worth &£2.5m, which is held by ARM Direct. The holiday company has drawn up a shortlist of four agencies and expects to make a decision next month.

OMD, MindShare, MediaCom and Starcom are the shortlisted agencies. The incumbent has decided not to repitch for the business.

Last year, the company, which rents out villas to holidaymakers, appointed Inferno as creative agency and launched a television and cinema campaign. Sales and marketing director Joanna Thompson says that it will run another Inferno-created campaign late this year and early next year for its 2006 range.

The holiday company’s digital activity is looked after by i-digital.

James Villa has expanded the number of properties and destinations it has offered in recent years; in 2006, it will offer holiday homes in Croatia, Barbados and Lefkas in Greece for the first time, taking the number of properties to more than 1,500 across 24 locations.

Thompson, a former head of marketing at Eurostar, joined James Villa in May last year and oversaw a campaign stressing the affordability of the properties. The campaign was created by Smarter Communications last year before Inferno won the account.

She is also running the current media pitch.

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