TUI to axe Eclipse and Sunstart after review

TUI, the travel company, is axing former First Choice brands Sunstart and Eclipse following a review of the two businesses.

The review of the two brands comes just weeks after the company announced a new marketing strategy, including positioning First Choice as its family brand and using Thomson to target older, more affluent consumers (MW January 31).

Andrew Laurillard, head of brand strategy at TUI, says the brands were not key players in the company portfolio and the businesses, including their direct marketing operations, will be taken over by other parts of the company.

Budget brochure brand Sunstart will be incorporated into the former Thomson brand Skytours, which Laurillard says has higher brand recognition in the market. Eclipse, which mostly sold holidays to tour operators, but which also has a high street and web presence, will be phased out. It is not thought that there will be any job losses.

Laurillard says that more ad campaigns are planned for TUI’s main brands, Thomson and First Choice, throughout the year.

He adds: “We are looking at how to refine the campaigns. We want to break this industry out of the cycle of poor advertising that it is in. There is a lot more work in the pipeline.”

The combined business is expected to be fully relocated to its new offices in Luton within six months.

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