P&O hires Andjel for youth drive

Troubled operator P&O Cruises has poached the head of corporate comms at rival Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises as it attempts to appear more affordable to a younger market.

Michele Andjel joins P&O as PR manager on 11 April, replacing Bronwen Griffiths, who left to join Thomas Cook last July.

The company's nine-month search to fill the post, the remit for which includes crisis management, meant it was without a top communicator during the Aurora cruise ship farce in January.

Andjel will be charged with securing positive publicity for low-priced, informal holidays aboard new P&O ship Arcadia.

The operator wants to lower the age group of typical P&O cruisers - its average customer is an affluent 57-year-old - by attracting less affluent groups who want a 'stress-busting cruise'.

P&O head of brand marketing Philip Price, to whom Andjel reports, said: 'Cruising is less formal than it used to be and we do a lot more to enhance the whole experience - from language classes to tai chi.'

He also emphasised the 'affordability' and 'Britishness' of P&O cruises.

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