Center Parcs picks Red after eight years with Halpern

Center Parcs has parted company with Halpern after eight years as it plans to expand to a fifth holiday site in 2014.

Center Parcs: wants to engage with mothers
Center Parcs: wants to engage with mothers
The UK’s most popular short break holiday firm has appointed The Red Consultancy after a three-way pitch understood to include Good Relations and Frank PR.

Having grown 3.6 per cent between 2010 and 2011 despite the UK recession, the brand now plans to open its fifth site in Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire at a cost of £250m.

PR manager Simon Kay said: 'It was a question of timing, and absolutely no fault on the part of Halpern. We are at a crucial stage of our development, and we have been with the same agency for a long time and we needed to see what is out there. Red were very quick at understanding where we were coming from.'

He added that the company had done ‘extremely well’ over the past five years, but said the new site would 'probably be it for the UK’ in terms of future expansion.

Red’s consumer practice, Play, will focus on the ‘mums’ market’, supporting the company’s in-house press office team, which is based in Nottingham, with its London contacts book and social media expertise.

‘It wasn’t a straight brief, there was also deeper thinking strategically about how to continue to attract people to existing sites and keep us relevant,’ Kay said.

Project work to engage with mothers at key booking periods also forms part of the brief.

The account will be led by managing director of Play, Isobel Coney, who said: 'Our challenge is to use this advocacy to increase the market further ahead of the launch of Woburn Forest in 2014.'

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