Merged holiday firm WA Shearings axes youth bid

WA Shearings, the holiday company created by the merger of Wallace Arnold and Shearings, has U-turned on the former's bid to target younger customers.

The group will instead focus on the traditional over-55s market.

Just over a year ago Wallace Arnold hired consumer agency Brighter PR to target 'gap-year 45-year-olds' and challenge the 'undeserved stereotyping' of coaching holidays' elderly clientele (PRWeek, 7 May 2004).

But last week the new company hired BGB Communications on a trade and consumer account following a pitch against Ogilvy PR Worldwide.

'The merger allows us to start again with a new brand,' said WA Shearings sales and marketing director Karen Gee. 'We have identified the over-55s as our main age group rather than the younger audience we asked Brighter to focus on.'

BGB director Helen Coop aims to build awareness of the March merger and new brand among consumers and the travel industry.

Shearings previously used Bugsgang & Associates, while Citigate Dewe Rogerson handled the merger itself.

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