Brands review at First Choice

Leading UK tour operator First Choice Holidays and Flights has reviewed PR accounts, believed to be worth a six-figure fee, for three of its brands.

Leading UK tour operator First Choice Holidays and Flights has

reviewed PR accounts, believed to be worth a six-figure fee, for three

of its brands.



The firm, which is a division of travel group First Choice Holidays, has

appointed BGB and Associates to promote core brand First Choice and

direct-sell tour operation Eclipse. Addison Willars will handle First

Choice’s upmarket brand, Sovereign.



Hill and Knowlton previously handled PR for all three brands and did not

repitch by mutual agreement. Consolidated Communications, Millbank PR

and Communications in Business also competed for the accounts.



First Choice ditched the name, Owners Abroad, in 1994. However, it has

failed to create a strong brand proposition, despite being the UK’s

third-biggest tour operator.



’We launched with a big bang, bright colours, a bright logo. But I don’t

think it had a lot of legs in terms of telling people what First Choice

is all about. We are looking for more than name awareness,’ said

Virginia Dick, First Choice marketing and communications manager.



BGB plans to build the Eclipse and First Choice brands by encouraging

other travel brands to co-sponsor events and promotions as well as

promoting the brands in the trade and national press.



Addison Willars, which has worked on First Choice-owned ski brands

Skibound and Ski Partners since February, will aim to position Sovereign

as the leading brand in top-of-the-range holidays. Sovereign’s holidays

include cruises on P&O’s Grand Princess, the largest cruise ship in the

world.



For the six months ending April 1998, the First Choice Holidays group

announced losses before tax of pounds 17.8 million, an improvement on

losses the previous year of pounds 22.8 million. Earlier this summer,

the company bought rival tour operators Unijet and Hayes and Jarvis,

adding to its existing divisions: tour operators Air 2000 and Signature

Vacations and airline seatbroking business Viking Aviation. Unijet and

Hayes and Jarvis handle their PR in-house.



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