Pippa Isbell, managing director and founder of travel specialist
Affinity, is leaving the agency to join Orient Express Services as
public relations director.
In her new role Isbell will run a three-strong team, based in London,
and work closely with Orient Express’ agency The Press Office. Orient
Express is a subsidiary company of transport group Sea Containers.
Isbell’s remit includes international PR activity for 17 Orient Express
luxury hotels, a river cruise ship in Myanmar, promotion of the Orient
Express trains and the launch of the new Great South Pacific Express,
which commences services in Australia in December this year.
The director of PR role was previously held by Nadia Stancioff, who has
retired after ten years in the post.
Isbell will be replaced at Affinity by Steve Dunne, who joined a year
ago after running his own consultancy, Mayfield, for three years. He
brought South African Airways and Alliance Air as clients to
Isbell founded her consultancy PIPR in 1987, and merged it with
Countrywide Porter Novelli subsidiary Affinity Consulting in 1993, when
Countrywide became a miniority shareholder. Countrywide now owns 100 per
cent of Affinity, which has 18 staff.
Affinity clients include the Scotish Tourist Board, cruise company Royal
Carribean International, the travel insurance arm of BUPA and crisis
management for Air 2000.
Dunne said he is looking for a replacement for his previous role as
director, focusing on client services. Isbell will remain a
non-executive director until the end of the year.
Neil Backwith, strategic planning and development director at
Countrywide Porter Novelli, has been named chairman of Affinity.
Backwith has sat on the Affinity board for the last three years, and he
replaces non-executive chairman Michael East, who was a co-shareholder