Thomson/Lunn Poly parent restructures PR department

The parent company behind holiday brands Thomson and Lunn Poly this week unveiled the new structure of its PR unit.

Pitches now loom following an announcement from the firm's head of PR, Rachel O'Reilly, that it is to review arrangements with external agencies.

TUI UK, a subsidiary of German giant Preussag, was formed last autumn by the merger of the then Thomson Holidays and the distribution arms of Lunn Poly, Skydeals, Team Lincoln and Travel House.

Sonia Davies, formerly head of comms for the Thomson Holidays business, has been named director of comms for the merged outfit, with responsibility for a wide remit from consumer to corporate PR.

Davies this week named the remaining members of her team. Rachel O'Reilly, who served as PR manager for the holidays business, is now head of PR across the group.

She reports to Davies, as does Kate Aldridge, whose head of corporate comms role encompasses business performance and City issues as well as links with the overall parent in Germany.

Aldridge is to go on maternity leave in the next few weeks, and her role will be filled on a temporary basis by PR manager Helen Gunter.

'We are reviewing the external part of the PR function and we expect to invite a number of agencies in to pitch in the coming months,' said O'Reilly, who will oversee two PR managers and two PR execs in her new role.

Band & Brown was the retained agency for Thomson Holidays, while there was no incumbent for the Lunn Poly brand. Both O'Reilly and Band & Brown MD Jill Brown said they expected the agency, which stopped work for the travel firm when its contract expired at the end of January, to repitch for the work.

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