Ketchum dropped after Orbitz liftoff

CHICAGO: Orbitz, the Internet airline ticketing giant, has changed

its PR pilots just weeks after its maiden flight.



Launched June 4, Orbitz had been using Ketchum for consumer outreach and

Burson-Marsteller for public affairs. It has now dropped Ketchum and

expanded Burson's role. Burson has also brought in travel boutique Nancy

J. Friedman PR.



Lorne Fischer, Ketchum's VP of emerging markets, said Orbitz was now

directing its attention toward public affairs tasks, which include

persuading the Department of Justice (DOJ) that Orbitz, owned by

American Airlines, United, Continental, Delta, and Northwest, is not

anticompetitive.



Dawn Doty, senior manager of media relations at Orbitz, confirmed the

agency consolidation. "We have been working with Burson, who has offered

us great strategic counsel since the start, and we needed to tighten our

belts," she said. "Ketchum helped us launch and gained us 800 million

impressions, making us one of the biggest-ever launches on the

Internet."



Orbitz is hoping to grab a major share of the online travel market,

which sees $1 billion a month from consumers.



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