Biss Lancaster to run corporate for lastminute.com

Retailer lastminute.com is to embark on a communications push,

handing Biss Lancaster Euro RSCG its consumer and corporate PR

brief.



lastminute.com bosses hired Biss Lancaster after a pitch at the end of

last year against corporate PR incumbent Gnash Communications.



Biss Lancaster originally won a six-way pitch in July to handle a

consumer PR project brief for lastminute.com.



The agency is now retained for a combined consumer and corporate brief,

with an aim to raise awareness of the company's products.



lastminute.com UK head of marketing Carl Lyons, to whom Biss Lancaster

reports, remained tight-lipped as to why the repitch was held.



He said they 'decided it would be sensible to consolidate consumer and

corporate PR for 2002' and confirmed Citigate Dewe Rogerson would

continue to be retained for financial PR.



On Biss's brief, he said: 'We now need to focus on consumer

understanding of the breadth of our product offering as well as

increased awareness of the strength of our business and its management

team.'



Biss Lancaster director Sarah Muirhead, who leads a team of six on the

account, said: 'So far, lastminute.com has been viewed as a

bucket-and-spade travel shop. It isn't - they have a premium range of

products and provide solutions to people who want to get away from it

all.'



lastminute.com, which sells travel deals as well as items such as

theatre tickets and gifts, has bucked the difficult trading conditions

in the travel industry, announcing late last year its main businesses

were on track to break even by April.



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