Club Med gets Wiser to head marketing

CORAL GABLES, FL: Club Med has named Mark Wiser as its new VP of marketing for North America, also overseeing PR and special events.

CORAL GABLES, FL: Club Med has named Mark Wiser as its new VP of marketing for North America, also overseeing PR and special events.

The company is readying an extensive two-year marketing effort to regain dominance in the all-inclusive-vacation category, and reposition some properties as family or upscale destinations, according to Wiser. Much of his initial work will be directing that campaign.

"In the next two years, our goal is to recapture the all-inclusive identity we were founded on," he explained. "There are people who think Club Med is a 1981-era concept, that it's only a place for singles to go. We have more to offer than that. We're embarking on a strategy to really define each of our villages against a lifestyle approach."

For instance, Wiser pointed to Club Med's Florida location, which will be promoted as the only all-inclusive family resort in the US.

Wiser also said that despite the war in Iraq, Club Med bookings have seen single-digit increases over the same period last year. However, the political situation is a factor in upcoming marketing plans.

"It's not an easy time to advertise, but people still need to take a vacation. The only thing we've seen is that people are going on vacation, but they are shifting the dates."

Before joining Club Med, Wiser founded a chain of lunch-delivery restaurants in the Chicago area called Food Bucket. He has also held executive marketing posts with Triarc Restaurant Group and Pizza Hut.

Wiser is based at Club Med's Florida headquarters, and he reports to Club Med North America president and CEO John Vanderslice.

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