Lastminute in 4m consolidation plan

Lastminute.com, the travel and leisure group, has called a review of advertising across all of its brands as part of a move to consolidate its advertising and digital accounts.

It is understood that the leisure group is seeking a single agency to handle the £4m advertising and digital accounts for all of its websites, including Travelocity, holidayautos.co.uk and the eponymous website.

The search for an agency is being handled by Oystercatchers, the intermediary founded by Haystack Group founder Suki Thompson and former JWT new business director Peter Cowie at the end of last year.

Lastminute.com has previously worked with Farm, Conrad Advertising and outdoor specialist Kinetic Worldwide. However, Farm is not thought to have worked for the company in the last six months.

Manning Gottlieb OMD was handed the group’s pan-European media planning and buying business last year (MW October 4, 2007). It is thought that the creative and digital brief could also be expanded to cover Europe.

The appointment of MGOMD came as the group revealed plans to increase its UK advertising budget and bolster its marketing following the departure of managing director Mark Jones after three years in the role (MW July 26, 2007).

The departure of Jones led to a restructure of the group, which saw its marketing team centralised under chief marketing officer Simon Thompson. That reorganisation also created new business-to-business and business-to-consumer divisions, alongside its product and technology teams.

Lastminute.com was launched in 1998 by Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox. It was taken over by Sabre Holdings Group, which owned the Travelocity brand, in July 2005.

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