Fleishman-Hillard will take over the work previously done by GolinHarris in the UK, FischerAppelt in Germany, Edelman in Italy and Hopscotch in France.
The appointment follows Expedia’s decision to consolidate its agencies in these four markets as it aims for more ‘consistent and impactful’ communications across Europe. Expedia’s agencies in the Netherlands, Spain and the Nordics were unaffected by the review.
Fleishman-Hillard will operate on what Expedia has called ‘a hub and spoke model’ with the UK-based hub team working closely with the European comms team based in Expedia’s European headquarters in London.
Expedia EMEA senior PR manager Jill Lloyd told PRWeek: ‘We remain committed to a locally tailored approach so we were looking for an agency which offered both strategic strength and strong media relations in each market. We also wanted an agency with a proven track record of managing pan-European campaigns.’
The agency will be charged with providing guidance and support for multi-market campaigns. Fleishman-Hillard will also collaborate closely with Expedia’s existing creative, media planning and social media agencies.
Fleishman-Hillard will take on responsibility for pan-European campaigns co-ordinated from the UK hub and its local agencies will also manage strategy and execution of country-specific initiatives.
The move to hire a fresh agency comes as Expedia faces a crowded online travel market with sites such as ebookers.co.uk and lastminute.com vying for consumers.
Richard Kanareck, MD of Fleishman-Hillard in London, said: ‘There's a huge, renewed momentum behind them as a brand and in terms of innovation. We're going to work with them across Europe to further build their consumer voice.’
The agencies invited to pitch were asked to demonstrate how they would use Expedia’s ‘people shaped travel’ comms strategy to help it deliver a personalised travel service and position it as a trusted travel partner.
Expedia will continue to work with digital agency Steak on its SEO work and We Are Social on its social media strategy. For trade PR the company will still use Edelman in Italy, Tilder in France, Spider in UK and KPRN in Germany.