The move will see the current three retained agencies reduced to one, while the in-house PR functions are being consolidated into one group team.
The changes follow ebookers’s purchase of Travelbag Holdings in February, bringing the Travelbag and Bridge the World brands into the group. Both acquired brands brought their own retained agencies with them – BGB & Associates and Magnetic PR, respectively – while ebookers retains The SPA Way.
The winner of the pitch will be tasked with promoting all three brands.
According to ebookers spokeswoman Jessica Potter, all three current agencies have been invited to take part in the pitch process, but the company is keen to look at other alternatives.
‘We’re going into the pitch with a completely open mind. We’re looking for an agency that has nuts-and-bolts travel PR experience, but we’re also keen to get the creativity and flair that an external agency can provide,’ she said.
Potter declined to reveal details of the fees attached to the account, but admitted that it would be a reduction in PR spend.
‘In consolidating the PR function, we’re looking to cut costs to some extent. We know what activity works and we’re looking for someone who can guide us with that.
‘We’re not new to hiring PR, so we don’t need someone to walk us through it,’ she added.
The internal revamp will create a four-strong PR team, headed by current ebookers head of comms Oliver Strong and head of PR and partnerships Jo Williams.
Strong will focus on financial PR and investor relations for ebookers, while overseeing the consumer and trade work conducted by the in-house team and agency.
Established in 1999, ebookers recorded sales of £273m in 2002, with sales for this year predicted to reach £500m. Travelbag Holdings, which ebookers bought for £55m, recorded sales of £200m last year.