EasyCar calls review of all European media accounts

EasyCar, the troubled car rental business owned by Stelios Haji-Ioannou's easyGroup, is reviewing its pan-European media account, estimated to be worth £5 million.

The pitch is being overseen by the easyCar chief executive, Steve Maltby, easyCar's acting marketing manager, Georgina Appleton, and easyGroup's director of corporate affairs, James Rothnie.

Although the company is putting all of its European business out to pitch, this does not mean that it will centralise it into one agency network.

The UK account is held by PHD, which has confirmed that it intends to repitch.

Other agencies to be invited to tender for the account are likely to be drawn from easyGroup's existing roster of agencies. In the UK, OMD handles the bulk of the business with the easyJet account.

EasyCar, which has 50 sites across Britain, France, Spain and Switzerland, has struggled financially - it reported losses of £13.2 million in its most recently reported results for the year ending September 2002 and has cost the company more than £20 million since launch.

In an attempt to stem the losses, easyCar has changed its business model and increasingly manages the excess inventory of other car-hire companies but under the easyCar banner.

EasyCar, which produces its advertising in-house, has just launched a UK bus-side campaign targeting the domestic short-breaks customer and promoting its hire cars for coastal getaways.

EasyGroup continues to diversify its offering. In March, the company announced that it was launching a range of male grooming products called easy4men. The toiletry products are likely to be packaged in the distinctive orange and white colours of the other easyGroup ventures.

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