Pitching With a Twist: Thomas Cook and the £1m Signing-on Fee Saga

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Thomas Cook’s latest PR stunt cause a few raised eyebrows in the industry. According to campaignlive.co.uk, the company demands for a “substantial signing-on fee in return for a three-year contract award” in addition to “a reduction in agency fees currently paid” and “a minimum 10% saving through consolidated media buying”.

Sources cited by the above mentioned publication stated that Thomas Cook expects the signing-on fee to be in the region of £1m. Many companies declared themselves outraged by this approach to business and attempted to boycott the pitch. However, Arena Media, Aegis Media, Brilliant Media, and Starcom MediaVest Group are currently active participants. Arena Media is already working with MediaVest Manchester on Thomas Cook’s Going Places and Direct Flights brands.

“Our current pitch process for a media buying agency has resulted from a review of several contracts across our business. As this process is still ongoing, we’re unable to discuss confidential details which remain part of the negotiations with agencies who want to work with us.” said a Thomas Cook spokesman, cited by Campaign.

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