CHICAGO: Orbitz, the Internet airline ticketing giant, has changed
its PR pilots just weeks after its maiden flight.
Launched June 4, Orbitz had been using Ketchum for consumer outreach and
Burson-Marsteller for public affairs. It has now dropped Ketchum and
expanded Burson's role. Burson has also brought in travel boutique Nancy
J. Friedman PR.
Lorne Fischer, Ketchum's VP of emerging markets, said Orbitz was now
directing its attention toward public affairs tasks, which include
persuading the Department of Justice (DOJ) that Orbitz, owned by
American Airlines, United, Continental, Delta, and Northwest, is not
Dawn Doty, senior manager of media relations at Orbitz, confirmed the
agency consolidation. "We have been working with Burson, who has offered
us great strategic counsel since the start, and we needed to tighten our
belts," she said. "Ketchum helped us launch and gained us 800 million
impressions, making us one of the biggest-ever launches on the
Orbitz is hoping to grab a major share of the online travel market,
which sees $1 billion a month from consumers.