Thomas Cook is expected to appoint Red Brick Road to handle its £9m advertising business, following a competitive pitch against undisclosed agencies.
The pitch was handled by Oystercatchers. The holiday operator’s incumbent agencies, which include Company of Angels for the Thomas Cook brand and Clear Marketing for MyTravel, were invited to repitch.
The brief for Red Brick Road will be to handle advertising for the Thomas Cook group, including Thomas Cook, Airtours, Going Places, Direct Holidays, Thomas Cook Signature, Cruise Thomas Cook, Panorama, Manos and Cresta.
The appointment was made by Thomas Cook marketing director Gary Hockey-Morley.
The ad pitch has been going on since June and was overseen by Thomas Cook’s former interim marketing director Simon Carter, who left the group last week (MW September 25).
Thomas Cook’s most recent ad campaign emphasised the company’s 160-year history as a holiday operator. It was aimed at reassuring its UK customers following the collapse of XL Leisure Group, the UK’s third biggest holiday company, early last month.
In August, the travel business dropped four of its brands’ standalone websites, redirecting traffic to the Thomascook.com website.
The group merged with MyTravel last year, and also owns the Hotels4U.com booking website, which it paid £21m for last February.
Since the merger, Thomas Cook has been running campaigns carrying the tagline “Why go anywhere else?” The advertising focuses on the travel operator’s seasonal packages.
The company has also launched campaigns to promote its holidays to sporting events, such as the RickyHatton versus Malignaggi boxing match in Las Vegas on November 22, and Premier League football matches.