Now Thomas Cook demands £1m from winning UK media agency

Blimey, having just written a story about the reverberations of Reckitt-Benckiser’s media pitch demands Thomas Cook in the UK is demanding that the media agency that wins its account pays £1m for the privilege plus guarantees ten per cent savings.

This is procurement (or should that be extortion?) with a vengeance but, according to Brand Republic, this hasn’t prevented the incumbent Arena (owned by Havas), Brilliant Media (which used to be a regional outfit), Aegis and Starcom all queueing up to hand over the wonga should they win Cook’s £30m account on a three-year contract.

Hamish Pringle, outgoing director general of trade body the IPA says Cook’s behaviour is ‘outrageous’ and the pitching agencies should pull out forthwith.

Cook refuses to comment citing ‘confidentiality’ blah, blah, blah.

Media agencies, and holding companies of course, aren’t exactly short of number crunchers these days so presumably they’ve worked out it’s worth it.

Agencies don’t just roll over, they tickle the client as well.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

One comment

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    Shame, shame, shame Thomas Cook. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I encourage everyone in the industry who finds this behaviour abhorrent to call their local Thomas Cook branch and ask them to pay you £1000 for the opportunity to provide a quote for your next trip. And keep doing it. If they ask why then tell them you are just doing to them what their company is doing to the industry. Hamish, ask your members to contact Thomas Cook and say they are tendering their millions of pounds in travel. And then ask £10,000 to tender for it. Treat them as they are treating the industry. Bullies only learn a lesson if there is consequences. Lets show them the consequences of their greedy actions.