Holiday Club Pontin’s has hired its first consumer public relations
agency to help move away from its ‘hi-de-hi’ image.
The holiday chain, which is part of brewing, leisure and retail giant
Scottish and Newcastle, appointed Countrywide Porter Novelli’s Leeds
office last month after a three-way pitch.
The awarding of the contract, which is believed to be worth more than
pounds 100,000 in fees, coincides with a pounds 55 million programme of
refurbishment at Pontin’s 14 sites in Great Britain, Jersey and the
Republic of Ireland.
Countrywide Porter Nov-elli director Liz Licence said the agency, which
will be targeting C1/C2 holidaymakers, would be aiming to bring Pontin’s
alive to consumers.
‘Sixty per cent of Pontin’s clients return again and again, however,
people who have never been have a mistaken preconception of what it is
really like. We have to change that. Pontin’s has never been about hi-
de-hi and blue coats,’ she said.
Pamela Knight, Pontin’s marketing services manager, said the company
would continue to use its long-time travel specialist Results PR.
‘We want to extend our PR, most of which was formerly aimed at the
travel press, into the consumer sector. Basically, with our investment
programme, we want to relaunch Pontin’s through the millennium and
beyond,’ she said.
Pontin’s was launched by Fred Pontin in 1946 and was sold to Coral in
1978. It was bought by Scottish and Newcastle, after two further changes
of ownership, in 1990.
The holiday chain which, along with Center Parcs, makes up Scottish and
Newcastle’s leisure division saw operating profits fall from pounds 7
million to pounds 6.2 million in the first six months of this year. The
results, which were announced this week, saw Scottish and Newcastle’s
overall profits rise by 26 per cent to pounds 195.1 million.