Thomson Travel appoints chief to head <BR>ad review for rebranded operations

LONDON - TUI UK, formerly Thomson Travel Group, is planning a major advertising review early next year following the appointment of a top marketer this week.

The UK's biggest holiday company has named Hugh Edwards as director of

marketing as part of a restructuring that is designed to

integrate the marketing of Thomson's tour operations business with the Lunn Poly retail arm.

Edwards was previously marketing and new media director for Thomson's UK distribution businesses, effectively running its Lunn Poly brand.

His appointment pushes out Thom Noble, Thomson's marketing director, who only joined the company from Disney Channel in June. TUI would not be drawn on the future of Noble. A spokeswoman said "the legal process is ongoing".

After the peak holiday booking period in January and February, Edwards will review the combined department's advertising account, which is worth over £10m.

Edwards wants a single agency for the "long-term development" of the firm's advertising. HHCL and Partners handles Thomson, and WCRS holds Lunn Poly.

"I will closely consider our roster of agencies," said Edwards. "It could be a pitch or an appointment."

It may be significant that only the Lunn Poly brand will be advertised in the critical next three months. HHCL's 'period drama' TV ads for Thomson will not be aired.

Edwards said the £8.5m drive behind Lunn Poly would kick off on December 26. It will be themed 'You're in Safe Hands', combining "a discount message with an element of reassurance at a time when the public is clearly still worried about booking".

The rethink began in August when German owner Preussag rebranded Thomson Travel Group as TUI

UK. Operations are being renamed TUI Thomson, shops as TUI Lunn Poly and the airline as TUI Britannia.

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