Lastminute.com to raise UK ad budget

last%20minuteLastminute.com is to increase its UK advertising budget and bolster its pan-European marketing department, following the recent departure of managing director Mark Jones after three years.

It is understood the company is looking to bring the French marketing director Laurent Dupé to the UK. It is not known whether he will take the UK marketing director position, currently occupied by Alistair Daly on an interim basis, or fill a senior role in Lastminute.com’s European marketing division.

The company’s European marketing director, Simon Thompson, has confirmed the travel website is looking to fill either one or two senior roles within its European marketing structure during the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, Jones is not being replaced as part of a company restructure that eliminates the managing director role, and instead business-to-business (b2b) and business-to-consumer (b2c) positions have been created.

Jones joined the company when it bought Online Travel Group in 2004 and he oversaw changes in Lastminute.com when it was bought by Travelocity in 2005.

The b2c country head for the UK is John Bevan, who was the former travel director at Lastminute.com.

Group marketing is now a central “shared service” supporting both divisions alongside departments such as technology and product.

Lastminute.com recently appointed Manning Gottlieb OMD to handle its media planning and buying. Farm Communications is its advertising agency.

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