The appointment comes as the website is under investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority, following a complaint about its reviews by online reputation management specialist KwikChex.
Edelman won the account after a pitch process revealed on prweek.com/uk and will work across a digital, corporate, b2b and public affairs remit.
In its complaint, KwikChex questions the legitimacy of TripAdvisor’s claims that its reviews are honest, reliable and written by ‘real travellers around the world’. KwikChex alleges that ‘at least ten million reviews are faked’.
Against this backdrop, Edelman has been briefed to monitor the hospitality and political landscapes, reinforcing the message that the site is a ‘trusted source’ and communicating the benefits of TripAdvisor to the UK tourism industry.
Emma Shaw, the website’s UK comms director, has further charged Edelman with helping to ‘sustain momentum in the growing popularity of the TripAdvisor brand’ and to communicate the benefits of the site’s business service offerings to travel companies.
She said: ‘We know we have an important role to play to inform and educate business owners and Edelman will help us communicate this.’
The site was also thrust into the media spotlight at the beginning of November after the Channel 4 programme Attack of the Trip Advisors highlighted the impact of negative reviews on the hospitality industry. The programme featured hoteliers blaming TripAdvisor reviews for putting them out of business.
The website, which features 50 million reviews, works with more than one million businesses globally, 100,000 of them in the UK.
The site’s consumer PR activity will continue to be driven by its in-house UK team and delivered by Hopscotch in France, LHLK in Germany and Competence in Italy.