TUI seeks single agency for pan-European advertising

TUI, the European travel giant whose brands include Thomson, Lunn Poly and Britannia, is looking for a single agency to handle its pan-European ad account.

Five agencies will contest a pitch for the business, part of TUI's efforts to turn itself into the continent's first European superbrand.

WCRS, which was appointed to handle TUI's UK brands last month, has been shortlisted for the assignment together with Saatchi & Saatchi, Grey Worldwide and two German agencies - Scholz & Friends and Jung Von Matt.

Spinger & Jacoby, which handles TUI business in its German home market, is not among the contenders.

TUI said it had yet to decide whether the winning shop would implement all European advertising or act as lead agency for the work. The appointment is expected to be made in time for the peak holiday booking period at the beginning of next year.

The pitch is in line with TUI's declared intent to build customer loyalty and profit margins. It has already briefed the design consultancy Interbrand to develop a strategy ensuring all the company's shops in Europe deliver a similar customer experience.

Last year it revealed its "smile logo, which is now seen in shops, brochures, planes and hotels across the continent.

The agency contest follows closely on a rebranding exercise, which gave birth to the TUI name out of the German industrial conglomerate Preussag. The company also owns the German airline Hapag-Lloyd and the French travel agency chain Nouvelles Frontieres.

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