The group has handed the agency a newly created brief following a pitch, marking a shift away from bringing in agencies for project work.
Luca will handle PR in most of the 30 countries in which the company operates, on a retainer believed to be worth a mid-six-figure sum.
The agency’s duties will include managing all PR for the group’s premium hotel brands Grand Meliá, Paradisus and ME. It will also handle the reactive press office work for the rest of the Meliá portfolio, including Sol Hotels and Club Meliá.
Luca backer Kelly Luchford, who is also the founder of property, lifestyle and travel PR agency Luchford APM, said the restructuring was part of a bid by Meliá to firm up its consumer positioning.
‘Meliá made the decision that it wanted the global work to be more consolidated,’ she said. ‘It is experiencing massive growth, and wanted someone who could help police comms as it starts up in new countries.’
The Spanish company’s VP for development, Maria Zarraluqui, recently revealed that the Americas and Asia would be key areas for growth.
Luca will report directly to Tony Cortizas, who was recently promoted to VP of marketing for all brands.
US work, which is covered by DKC, and corporate work in Spain, which is handled in-house by global VP of corporate comms Maria Umbert, will not be affected.
However, Luca has also been handed the non-corporate PR work in Spain that was previously dealt with by Ogilvy PR.
Last year, Luca won a brief to promote hotel launches by the ME brand.