TUI Travel branding architect steps down

CMO of parent company for Thomson and First Choice brands departs.

Brand architect for parent company of Thomson and First Choice to depart.

Chief marketing officer of TUI Travel and TUI AG Michael Lambertz is leaving the company “to pursue new professional challenges”.

He is credited with managing all TUI Group brands worldwide since 2000, including developing the World of TUI brand strategy and TUI ‘smile’ brand identity.

In 2002 he was charged with rebranding the then Preussag AG as TUI AG.

TUI AG holds a 55 per cent stake in TUI Travel and is currently negotiating to merge fully with the holiday company to create a united group. 

At time of publication TUI Travel could not confirm whether Lambertz would be replaced in the dual CMO role but if the merger goes through it suggests such a role may no longer exist. In April TUI Travel named Erik Freimuth, a former managing director of Vpdafone Deutschland, as group chief marketing officer.

TUI Travel was formed in 2007 and Lambertz has been a member of the TUI Travel Mainstream Board since 2011. The company’s holiday brands familiar to UK customers include First Choice and Thomson Holidays.

Peter Long, chief executive officer of TUI Travel, says: “Michael has created a valuable asset for our group in the form of “World of TUI”. The TUI Smile is one of the best branding developments worldwide in the last 20 years. We are losing a proven expert and a highly engaged person.”

Thomson Holidays has been steadily improving its financial performance thanks to factors including a focus on creating unique holiday packages and hotel options, bringing the Dreamliner aircraft into its fleet and creating emotionally engaging brand campaigns.

Its UK marketing is led by marketing director Jeremy Ellis who oversaw the creation of its current Cannes Lions award-winning ‘Simon The Ogre’ campaign.