QE II to go in Cunard rebranding

Troubled cruise company Cunard is ditching famous cruise line brand names, such as QE II, Royal Viking and Crown, and rebranding its eight ships with the Cunard name.

The company, which is still recovering from the bad publicity it received over the QE II refit at the end of last year, is in the first stages of implementing a new five-year plan.

Senior vice president worldwide sales and marketing Peter Bates has just completed a reorganisation of his department across three regions: the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia/Pacific.

Bates joined the New York office earlier this year from Thistle & Mount Charlotte hotels.

Cathy Jackson has been appointed as sales and marketing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa. She replaces Robin Wilkins, who left the post of commercial director in August before the company began the relocation of its European HQ from London to Southampton.

Jackson has worked in the US for Maritz Travel and in the UK for Forte Hotels and Holiday Inn. She will oversee the relocation and concentrate on developing the German market.

As part of the promotional activity to support the initiatives, a direct mail, advertising and public relations programme will begin in the new year, through Bates USA.

A new television campaign for the Cunard Countess, also through Bates, breaks this week in the UK.

The strategic nature of the moves appears to contradict speculation that Cunard owners, Trafalgar House, will dispose of the cruise line following the sale of the Ritz earlier this month.

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