Manning Gottlieb lands Lastminute pan-Euro planning and buying brief

Simon%20ThompsonLastminute.com has handed Manning Gottlieb OMD its pan-European media planning and buying business without a pitch. It follows the appointment of the agency to its £1.3m UK account in June.

The agency’s appointment to the pan-European account, which was overseen by Suki Thompson & Associates, marks an effort by the travel and leisure website to bolster its marketing. It has already increased its UK advertising budget and is seeking marketers across its European offices. 

The changes at the company follow the departure of managing director Mark Jones after three years in the role (MW July 26). It is not replacing Jones and has axed his role as part of a restructuring. It has created two divisions, business-to-business (b2b) and business-to-consumer (b2c), headed by Alfonso Castellano and John Bevan respectively.

It has also centralised its marketing team, led by chief marketing officer Simon Thompson, to support both divisions alongside its product and technology teams.

The media appointment does not affect Farm Communications, which handles Lastminute’s advertising although it also works with local agencies.

In June, the company launched a loyalty scheme called “In the pink” as part of a major customer relationship management drive.

The CRM programme featured a marked increase in the number of targeted communications and focused on cross-selling Lastminute products.

The online travel and leisure company was created in 1998 by Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox.

It was taken over by the Sabre Holdings Group, which also owned Travelocity, in July 2005.

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