HHCL & Partners has scooped the pounds 9 million Thomson Holidays
advertising account after a pitch against Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and
the incumbent agency, BMP DDB.
As Campaign went to press, Rupert Howell, the chief executive of HHCL,
was unavailable to comment on his agency’s win. However, both AMV and
BMP had been informed that they had been unsuccessful.
The appointment is thought to be a prelude to a major brand advertising
blitz by Thomson, which is keen to protect its market-leader position in
the face of mounting threats from the rival tour operators, Airtours and
First Choice.The campaign is likely to embrace mixed media in contrast
to the TV-heavy advertising produced by BMP.
BMP has handled the Thomson account since 1994.
Thomson put its account up for review in February this year, following a
shake-up of its marketing department. Thomson’s marketing director, Sean
Powell, who joined the travel company from Barclaycard a year ago,
doubled the size of his department and announced a shift of emphasis
from price to branding.
BMP’s latest television campaign for the Thomson brand broke nationally
in January this year and ran until the middle of March. The ads
reinforced the company’s guarantee that: ’What you read in the brochure
is what you get in your holiday.’
BMP Optimum will continue to handle the media on the Thomson Holidays
The Thomson Group carried off a successful public flotation this month,
with share prices rising sharply as soon as trading began. The
advertising for the pounds 1.3 billion flotation was created by
HHCL is expected to effect a strategic shift in Thomson’s advertising
campaigns, as part of a response to the greater accountability that will
come with the company’s new plc status. Thomson is also likely to put
greater emphasis on its direct operation and to develop electronic
channels, including the Internet and the possible launch of a loyalty