Smarter Communications wins £4m Travelocity task

Online travel firm Travelocity.co.uk has shifted the media planning and buying business for its UK operation into Smarter Communications.

The account, believed to be worth &£4m, was previously handled by Klondike.

Smarter Communications won the planning and buying for Travelocity’s sister company Lastminute.com last year (MW April 7, 2005) and the latest move is part of an integration of the two travel companies’ operations.

Travelocity’s parent company Sabre purchased Lastminute.com in a &£580m deal last year, and installed the latter as the lead brand in the UK. Sabre announced plans to incorporate the Travelocity operation into Lastminute. com, but said it would retain the Travelocity.co.uk brand and maintain independent sites for the two brands (MW September 8, 2005). Travelocity marketing manager Stuart Parish says: “The appointment is in line with us integrating the brand into our overall marketing structure and implementing scale efficiencies with our media buying across our portfolio.”Travelocity marketing director Charlotte Harper left the company last December and has been appointed UK managing director for international dating website Match.com (MW last week).

Lastminute.com marketing director Mat Hart now oversees the marketing of both brands.

The move is not thought to affect Travelocity’s relationship with creative agency Miles Calcroft Briginshaw Duffy, which created the brand’s “Hello World” campaign featuring travel guru Alan Whicker.

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