NEW YORK: Ogilvy Worldwide is establishing a travel and tourism division in the wake of a recent uptick in the leisure market.Lorra Brown, formerly the managing director of Weber Shandwick Worldwide's travel and lifestyle practice, has been hired to head the office. She built the WSW travel practice from just herself to a staff of 20.
The group will run out of the New York operation, and will report to Paul Hicks, managing director of that office.
"Ogilvy has worked on tourism projects across the network, but never capitalized on it as a specialty,
said Brown, whose new title is SVP, travel and tourism. "As we see an upswing in travel, companies are going to need PR agencies to draw and retain clients. Travel professionals need a cohesive approach that includes PR if they want to survive in the current climate."
Brown will work on projects with Ogilvy offices around the US, focusing on marketing alliances, location and film shoots, sponsorships, and crisis reputation management.
The group's first account win is a project for Virgin Atlantic Airways.
Ogilvy will develop a road show to promote Virgin's first-class service.
"There is a lot of clutter in the travel sector,
said Brown. "The greatest challenge any travel company faces is making themselves stand out above the rest. PR is becoming an increasingly important part of the equation."