Airtours, the UK’s second largest holiday company, is speaking to
London agencies about its pounds 7 million advertising account,
currently with the Manchester-based Advertising Principles.
The holiday giant is understood to want to boost its image.
Traditionally, it has been viewed as a discount, rather than a premium,
operation - a problem which has not affected its arch rival, Thomson
In March, Airtours signalled its intention to improve customer
faithfulness by launching a new loyalty scheme called Freedom.
Matthew Foster, Airtours’ senior advertising manager, is understood to
have approached a clutch of London agencies to discuss the company’s
Foster insisted the advertising account was not up for review. ’We speak
to agencies all the time. There is nothing concrete to confirm. My
experience is of Manchester agencies and it’s been one of my objectives
to develop a better understanding and knowledge of London,’ he
However, agencies are gearing up for a series of credentials meetings
which they expect will lead to a formal pitch within the next few
Advertising Principles scooped the Airtours business in June 1996. The
agency landed the company’s media business six months later.
Phil Hesketh, Advertising Principles’ chief executive, said: ’Airtours
hasn’t told us of a review and we are cracking on with the work as
Advertising Principles’ first work for Airtours, which launched in
September 1996, carried the line: ’Whatever makes your holiday, we make
Thomson Holidays held a pitch last month for its pounds 9 million