Webjet Makes Enemies Of Travel Agents With Its Latest Ad Campaign

Webjet Makes Enemies Of Travel Agents With Its Latest Ad Campaign
SHARE
THIS



Webjet’s latest marketing ploy putting down travel agents has really caused a stink among the travel industry. In this piece from one of our sister publications Travel Weekly, editor Tara Harrison gets down to the bottom of the industry’s ire.

Webjet has made an enemy of the trade with a television advert that paints travel agents as disinterested at best. But who is the real enemy?

Webjet has released a new advertising campaign this month that adversely portrays travel agents to encourage consumers to book online.

Let us set the scene, if you’ve missed it. The advert involves two women, one of whom is packing her suitcase for holiday.

“So I said to the travel agent, only four flights? Like we knew there were heaps more from looking online, and she goes, ‘hmmm, maybe five?’

“And we thought, we’re not stupid. We can do better than that ourselves. So we did.”

The 30-second TVC ends with the tagline ‘make your own way in the world’.

The ad has raised the ire of the industry. Backlash has come from wholesaler Excite Holidays, AFTA and direct from disgruntled travel agents around the country. 

“It is disappointing that Webjet has used the language it has in its latest television commercial as I am sure there are many career travel agents working every day at Webjet who would be as offended as the majority of their industry colleagues are,” AFTA chief executive Jayson Westbury said.

Excite Holidays founder and managing director Nicholas Stavropoulos described the ad as ‘hugely disrespectful’.

“The recent Webjet TV advert is a cheap shot at bricks and mortar travel agents, attempting to discredit them in order to promote their own online booking engine,” Stavropoulos said.

The fact that online travel agencies and retail agencies are fighting the same competition was not lost on Westbury. At the end of the day, the real foe is consumers booking direct.

“For travel agents, the competition is consumers booking direct with suppliers, so discrediting each other seems to me to be totally counterproductive,” Westbury said.

Westbury highlighted that Webjet is not an AFTA member, nor an ATAS accredited travel agent.

Webjet was also seen as cannibalising its own network, which engages with the trade.

“It was a strange choice of messaging as Webjet actively works with travel agents through other wholly owned subsidiary companies,” Stavropoulos said.

In response to what was a public heckling, agents have rallied, using social media to air their grievances.

It’s hard not to take the advertisement personally, and many agents have felt the need to defend their profession.

Perth’s Buon Viaggio Travel agency used Facebook to air its frustrations. “Who’s seen the latest advertising by Webjet? I have and as a travel consultant I gotta say I wasn’t all that impressed. I understand what Webjet are trying to do but they are so totally wrong in the message they’re delivering.”

Consumers have also voiced their support for the trade, commenting on Webjet’s Facebook page.

“Looks good thanks Webjet. I will call my travel agent because she will be able to get the deal for me. Besides then I will know that I won’t have any problems with my booking,” Gayle Box wrote.

“I would love a trip to Vanuatu but there is not a chance that I would book with Webjet. A company that has to discredit industry professionals to get more sales is disgraceful,” Nicole Erika posted.

“I’ll go somewhere my travel agent recommends as they take the time and effort to know me and what I like to do as well as help me with visas… they are more than just a merchant for the airlines like yourself,” Justin Smythe added.

Webjet declined to comment.

Latest News

Masculinity Roasted In Clever New Ad
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Masculinity Roasted In Clever New Ad

Think masculinity means drinking a case without chundering? Well, rediscover it (& possibly yourself) with this top ad.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
WPP AUNZ Partners With Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program
  • Advertising

WPP AUNZ Partners With Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program

Advertising and marketing network WPP AUNZ has joined the Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program as part of its commitment to a diverse workforce, and the creation of opportunities that inspire excellence. As part of the program, WPP AUNZ has welcomed its first three interns: Abi-Leigh Dillon (WPP AUNZ), Amy Mccutcheon (MediaCom) and Jacinta Evans (Ogilvy), […]

Taboo Goes On A Hiring Spree
  • Advertising

Taboo Goes On A Hiring Spree

Taboo has gone a hiring spree. And when it comes to sprees, that's far better than a shooting one or a farting one.

Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT

B&T's not sure what's with that twirly thing in the press photo, suffice to say a vortex to an alternate dimension?

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk

If B&T's Women in Media profiles were an animal they would be a gazelle or lioness, or even a lioness eating a gazelle.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team
  • Media

Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team

Independent media company Grant Broadcasters has announced a number of changes to its executive ranks. Grant Cameron will move up to become non-executive chairman for the company, and Alison Cameron (pictured above) – currently the chief operating officer – will assume the CEO role. Dugald Cameron remains responsible for the family’s investment portfolio and is […]

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities
  • Advertising
  • Media

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities

Australian retail out-of-home (OOH) business Shopper Media Group (SMG) has announced a partnership with AI-powered wireless networks provider Mist. The partnership will see SMG offer new WiFi, analytics and location-based services across the company’s portfolio of Australian shopping centres. Mist currently provides WiFi and location services using virtual Bluetooth LE technology to businesses across all […]

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account
  • Advertising
  • Media

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account

Travel organisation Cruiseco has announced the appointment of Sydney independent agency This is Flow (TIF) to handle its $5 million media account. This is the first time Cruiseco has appointed an agency, having managed its communications internally. Cruiseco is the largest and broadest distributor of cruise products in the Southern Hemisphere. With a membership base […]

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd

Need a Monday morning pick-me-up? You could stand naked next to the office fridge or read these inspiring words.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract
  • Advertising
  • Media

APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract

Out-of-home media business APN Outdoor has won the tender for New Zealand’s Queenstown Airport. As part of the new agreement, APN Outdoor has flagged extensive development plans for Queenstown Airport’s advertising assets. The new contract adds Queenstown Airport to APN Outdoor’s existing portfolio of Auckland and Christchurch Airports. The media company will hire a South […]

Havas Secures Exclusive ‘Fight Of Champions’ Broadcast Rights With Foxtel For Australia & NZ
  • Media

Havas Secures Exclusive ‘Fight Of Champions’ Broadcast Rights With Foxtel For Australia & NZ

Havas Sports & Entertainment ANZ, a division of the broader global full-service agency Havas, has confirmed an exclusive deal with Foxtel to showcase the World Boxing Association (WBA) Welterweight Championship across the trans-Tasman. Billed as the ‘Fight of Champions’, Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse will square off for the WBA Welterweight belt this Sunday. Havas […]

The Question On Everybody’s Lips At Cannes: How Did Tesco Win The Grand Prix Media Lion?
  • Media
  • Opinion

The Question On Everybody’s Lips At Cannes: How Did Tesco Win The Grand Prix Media Lion?

In this guest post, PHD’s Chloe Hooper (pictured below) analyses the campaign that claimed top honours in the Media category at Cannes this year. I sat in the auditorium as the Cannes Media Lion winners for 2018 were awarded. One thing became instantly clear to me: it is all about taking home Gold or the Grand Prix. […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
MINI Australia Showcases New ‘Connected’ Vehicles Via Vizeum & Posterscope
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

MINI Australia Showcases New ‘Connected’ Vehicles Via Vizeum & Posterscope

An integrated campaign by Vizeum Melbourne for MINI Australia’s new ‘Connected’ vehicles will see digital out-of-home (DOOH) served via Posterscope’s Liveposter platform. Delivered centrally, the campaign will showcase the flexible qualities DOOH provides via multiple creatives targeted with specific data overlays such as location, traffic, time of day, and weather triggers such as rain. The […]

Women In Media Profile: Lisa Sheehan
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Lisa Sheehan

The delightful Lisa Sheehan straps into B&T's "cage of truth" we actually prefer to call our Women in Media profiles.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
News Corp, Storyful & Fox Sports Join Forces To Support AIME Hoodie Day
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Media

News Corp, Storyful & Fox Sports Join Forces To Support AIME Hoodie Day

News Corp Australia, Storyful and Fox Sports have joined forces in support of 2018 AIME Hoodie Day with a creative advertising, PR, social media and editorial campaign across print, digital, and broadcast media. Fox League presenter Hannah Hollis (pictured above) fronts the AIME Hoodie Day campaign, conceptualised, designed and created by News Corp’s trade marketing […]