Thomson-First Choice slam Superbrands programme

TUI Travel has criticised the Superbrands scheme after it failed to include the holiday giant’s two leading companies again in a list of the top 500 brands in the UK.

Rival holiday giant Thomas Cook was placed in 72nd position when the list was announced earlier this week, a massive 270 places higher than Kuoni and 310 ahead of the nearest travel agency brand, Expedia.

Thomson said it and sister brand First Choice had declined to become of the Superbrands membership programme separate from the top 500 list as it “will offer no value to our customers or shareholders”.

The widely debated Superbrands top 500 list is compiled using a selection of around 1,350 consumer brands from a wide selection of sources from market reports to blogs.

A panel of media, advertising and marketing experts decide on the final 500, which are then invited to become Superbrands members for around £10,000 per year, giving them access to events and inclusion in the annual Superbrands book.

A Thomson spokesperson said: “Thomson and First Choice are undeniably two of the best known travel brands in the UK and are focussed on offering the best holidays in the market place, both in terms of value and differentiated product.

“As a result, we don’t see any value in becoming a member of the Superbrands programme, which charges upwards of £9,000 per annum once a brand is short-listed for its ‘Superbrand 500’ list each year, and will offer no value to our customers or shareholders.

“We would rather spend the £9,000 on customer insight and making our holidays even better for customers.”

Superbrands defended the selection criteria for the top 500 list and denied there is any connection between inclusion on the list and the commercial element of its membership programme.

A team of 30 experts create a shortlist of 750 brands – from an initial group of 1,350 – which is then put to the public vote.

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