Saga Holidays reviews to target younger clientele

Over-50s specialist Saga Holidays is reviewing its PR strategy as it strives to maintain its appeal to a new breed of action-seeking pensioner.

Saga is locked in talks with agencies over a 2006 consumer contract, with eight-year incumbent Weber Shandwick declining to repitch for the work.

Amanda Monroe, PR manager at the direct-selling travel firm, said it was in talks with 'a number of travel and lifestyle' agencies, with a hire likely before Christmas.

The company is battling to lower the average age of its clientele by offering new varieties of all-action adventure trips.

Saga continues to be synonymous with the grey market but faces growing competition from over-50s specialists such as Page & Moy, and long-distance travel firms that target all ages, such as Kuoni.
Page & Moy has recently reviewed its own agency arrangements, opting to replace boutique Beacon PR with newly merged 35-strong travel expert Hills Balfour Synergy (PRWeek, 2 December).

Ironically WS, alongside Interpublic Group sister outfit FutureBrand, has just set up O50: A Fresh Perspective, a cross-practice initiative aimed at brands targeting the over-50s.

WS Europe vice-chairman Sally Ward said: 'This was an economic decision for us – we all felt Saga's needs would probably be better served by a smaller agency.'

Saga is believed to spend around £75,000 a year on agency support, a budget thought likely to remain consistent in 2006.

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