Agencies cut as TUI shifts focus

TUI Thomson is reducing its ten-strong agency roster to five and looking to slash annual spend by 50 per cent to £250,000, as part of a major refocus of its business.

The UK's biggest holiday group - which comprises Thomson Holidays, the Lunn Poly travel agent chain and Thomsonfly airline - wants to move its perception 'away from being purely a package holiday company'.

TUI's focus will be on the Thomson 'powerbrand' and it is rebriefing consumer agency Lexis PR to this end.

It is taking comms in-house for niche brands such as Portland and Headwater, previously handled by BGB Communications and Magellan PR respectively.

However, BGB will continue to handle work on Thomsonfly.

The specialist Simply Travel brand will move from ZFL to Voyager PR, which already handles the Magic Travel group.

'Our strategy is to streamline our PR and to channel more resources into the Thomson powerbrand. The big growth area is holiday components, including flight-only,' said TUI UK head of PR Rachel O'Reilly.

TUI continues to retain Lexis, BGB and Voyager. It will decide on two more agencies shortly.

Leader, p21.

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