Airtours freezes Lowes branding work

Airtours looks unlikely to embark on its long-awaited pounds 10 million brand-building campaign following an announcement this week that it had put its relationship with the incumbent agency, Lowe-Howard Spink, on hold.

Airtours looks unlikely to embark on its long-awaited pounds 10

million brand-building campaign following an announcement this week that

it had put its relationship with the incumbent agency, Lowe-Howard

Spink, on hold.



Lowes was appointed last November following a much-publicised pitch

against the Leeds-based Advertising Principles and Euro RSCG Wnek

Gosper.



However, despite being recruited to run what was described at the time

as a big brand-building campaign, the agency has not unveiled any

advertising for the client.



A company spokeswoman said: ’Airtours and Lowes have agreed to put their

relationship on hold following the successful completion of the first,

strategic phase of the development of a brand advertising campaign.’



Instead, Airtours said, the company would use the small Manchester-based

Connect Point to handle tactical advertising. Connect Point has worked

on the account since 1996, producing press and radio advertising for the

tour operator.



Lowes claimed it was still conducting strategic projects on behalf of

Airtours, and would pick up the relationship again in the future. This

was a sentiment echoed by the company: ’Airtours Holidays will continue

to advertise using Connect Point, with the intention of resuming their

relationship with Lowes in the longer term.’



The move has prompted speculation in the industry that Airtours’

expensive and unsuccessful attempt to buy the rival tour operator, First

Choice, was behind the apparent change of heart.



Airtours has had a turbulent advertising history. In the early 90s, it

appointed Bartle Bogle Hegarty, threatening its relationship with the

incumbent of many years, the Manchester-based Sass Panayi. However, just

before signing the deal, Airtours decided to retain Sass Panayi.



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