Pitch update: Thomas Cook looks for agency to 'put it back on the map'

Thomas Cook: is looking for an agency partner
Thomas Cook: is looking for an agency partner

A rise in media agency reviews is fuelling new business, while Abrdn has appointed a new global brand marketing agency

New-business tables

Reviews

Thomas Cook is looking for an advertising agency partner to relaunch the brand as a digital-only travel agency.

David Child, head of brand and PR at Thomas Cook, and Ryan Cotton, head of marketing, are running the process. They have not yet decided what form the relaunch ad campaign might take.

Thomas Cook started speaking to agencies about six weeks ago and hopes to appoint a shop by late summer, by which time the future market for holidays should be clearer.

Child said: "The Thomas Cook story in terms of its collapse is fairly well known. When it comes to the return, some people are aware but we have not really launched at scale.

"We are desperate to do that when the time is right – there's no point if no-one can go on holiday. There's a big opportunity for us as a new business to showcase what it is that we have now. The right partner has a chance to put Thomas Cook back on the map."

AAR has found a 37% surge in media agency reviews has fuelled a big increase in new business in the first six months of 2021 compared with a year earlier at the outset of the pandemic.

Overall, appointments across all agencies (media, creative and digital) were up 12%, according to the new business and pitch consultancy. Creative agency reviews were up 14% year on year, while digital was flat compared with a year ago.

Wins


Iris – or should that be rs? – has been appointed by Abrdn as its new lead global brand marketing agency after a competitive pitch. The brand, previously known as Standard Life Aberdeen, divided opinion in the branding world in April when it unveiled its (almost) vowel-free new moniker.

This is the first time Abrdn has appointed a lead global brand agency. Iris will be tasked with creating a global campaign for Abrdn’s new brand strategy and positioning in the UK and numerous markets worldwide.

New Commercial Arts has been appointed by Alzheimer’s Society to support the charity for a brand refresh, following a competitive pitch run by AAR.

Alzheimer's Society previously worked with Engine, which created its ad released in May to coincide with Dementia Awareness WeekCampaign named the spot Pick of the Week.

Facebook Reality Labs has appointed Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO as UK creative agency for Portal, Facebook's range of smart displays and video calling devices. Facebook ran the competitive review itself, which Campaign assumes was not held on Microsoft Teams.

Portal in the UK most recently worked with AMV's fellow Omnicom agency, TBWA\London, which was awarded projects worth £13.5m last year as a result of the TBWA network's relationship with Facebook Reality Labs, which continues. A spokeswoman for TBWA\London said it declined to take part in this pitch.

Fullgreen, the plant-based alternatives food brand and maker of cauliflower rice, has appointed BMB as its first agency of record without a pitch. There was no previous incumbent.

Whether the BMB team was fuelled purely by plant-based food in the run-up to the pitch is not known.

Getir, the convenience delivery service, has appointed Neverland as its lead creative agency after a competitive pitch, as it seeks to expand in the UK. Getir is also on the hunt for a media agency. 

Match.com owner Meetic has appointed a network of independent agencies – led by Paris-based What's Next Partners and including Harbour – to its European communications.

Harbour will handle the creative account for the dating website Match.com in the UK, replacing incumbent Marcel. Initially, the collective will develop a global brand platform for the Meetic/Match.com brands, incorporating both advertising and digital.

Skipton Building Society, the UK’s fourth-largest building society, has appointed Jaywing as its strategic agency partner. The shop will develop the brand’s story and provide long-term strategy and creative.

Jaywing was awarded the contract after a competitive, four-way pitch. The incumbent was BJL.

The Museum of London has appointed Something More Near and Uncommon Creative Studio to spearhead the development of a new visual identity, following a nine-month procurement process.

After 15 months when walks because a crucial part of everyone in the UK's social life, The Woodland Trust has appointed John Ayling & Associates as its media agency. JAA marched off with the account after a competitive pitch managed by Agency Insight.

The UK’s largest woodland conservation charity hopes consolidating its multimillion-pound media budget into a single agency will maximise acquisition performance and increase brand awareness. The Woodland Trust will continue to use its in-house creative resource for future campaigns.

The charity’s media planning and buying was previously managed between MediaCom and Medialab.

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