Self-Tanning brand continues partnership with TV awards

St. Moriz are one of the longest running sponsors of the National Reality TV Awards after partnering together in 2011 for the first ever annual National Reality TV Awards . The self-tanning brand has gone from strength to strength and transforming themselves into an award winning brand with awards from the Cosmo Beauty Awards and most recently voted Best self-tanning brand at the Consumer Choice Awards amongst many others. It seems like the best kept secret in self-tanning is well and truly out and we are proud to announce that each guest attending the 4th annual National Reality TV Awards will leave with one of the beautiful complimentary St. Moriz products to try for themselves.

Luisa Zissman at the National Reality Television Awards 2014

Luisa Zissman at the National Reality Television Awards 2013

A healthy glowing tan makes us look and feel amazing so experts at St. Moriz have created a range of affordable self tanning Mousses, Mists, Lotions and Soufflés to help you become a St. Morizsta – effortlessly sunkissed and naturally tanned every day.

The brand is known to use the highest quality ingredients and their products are all made in England which provides that authenicity, quality and confidence attached to any truly British product. Once the self tan formulas are created, they are all tried and tested by our team of St. Morizstas, so when they reach the shops, you know you’re buying self tanning perfection in a bottle.

St. Moriz will be sponsoring the Best Entertainment Show and the Best Reality Competition show

The Best Reality Competition Show nominees include; Britain’s Got Talent (ITV1) , The Great British Bake Off (BBC2)The X Factor (ITV1) , Come Dine with Me (Channel 4) , The Apprentice (BBC1) , The Voice (BBC1) , The Face (Sky Living), Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1) , Four in a Bed (Channel 4) , MasterChef (BBC1) , Child Genius , University Challenge (BBC 2)

If you are lucky enough to be attending the National Reality Television Awards on Monday, the 22nd of September. You will be able to get yours free of charge! But, why wait till Monday. If you would like to find out more about St. Moriz
, click here

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Big winners announced at last night’s successful 1st annual Consumer Choice Awards

 Twitter, Virgin Atlantic, Tesco, St. Moriz, Barry M, Nokia and Boots were just a few big winners at  last night’s 1st annual Consumer Choice Awards. With over 127,560 consumers nominating for the various categories and over 1 million plus votes received. The anticipation and excitement was clear for all the key brands in attendance. The Consumer Choice Awards  is one of the first annual award ceremonies to provide a voice for consumers to celebrate the brands, products and services that they love the most by nominating and voting online.


The growth of social media and other online platforms has led to Consumers looking to other consumers more than ever for recommendations on the best products and services available in the market. From Hotel to Restaurant reviews, cars to travel comparison websites. Consumers are now playing a bigger role not just with the amount they spend on a brand but more importantly how much they think of a brand by shared experiences via their extended social circles.

From the start of the year (January 2014) , consumers have had a chance to nominate across over 22 categories at the official CCA micro website and over 127,560 took part with the buying public nominating their best products, brands and services. Last night the winners were officially announced.


Below are the list of nominees and winners in all categories as voted by you;

Full list of Consumer Choice Awards 2014 nominees:


Best High Street Retailer

Carphone Warehouse




TK Maxx


Currys and PC World

House of Fraser

JD Sports

Phones 4 U



Winner :  Boots


Best Supermarket




99p Stores

The Co-operative

Marks & Spencer


Winner: Tesco


Best Restaurant

Midsummer House, Cambridge

The Fat Duck, Bray

Sat Bains, Nottingham

Thai Square , Covent Garden, London

Giglamesh, Camden , London

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park), London

Le Gavroche, Mayfair/ London

Shaka Zulu, Camden , London

Mem Saab, Leicester

Nandos, (Nationwide)


Winner: Thai Square




Best Daily Newspaper

The Metro

Evening Standard

Daily Mail

Daily Mirror


Daily Express

The Sun

Daily Star


Winner:  The Independent


Best Travel Website



Best Price Comparison Website




Best Airline

Virgin Atlantic



British Airways

Air New Zealand

Singapore Airlines


Qatar Airways

Cathay Pacific


Winner: Virgin Atlantic




Best Food & Beverage Brand


Coca Cola






HP Sauce



Veuve Clicquot

Monster Energy

PG Tips

Pot Noodle


Winner:  Coca Cola


Best Consumer Mobile App


Whats App

Tunein Radio




Real Racing 3






Winner :  Twitter


Best Healthcare  product








Andrews Original


Winner : Lemsip


Best Travel Destination


Marbella, Spain


New York City, New York

Marrakech, Morocco

Tokyo, Japan

Bangkok, Thailand

Cape Town, South Africa

Prague, Czech Republic

Sydney, Australia

Istanbul, Turkey

Shanghai, China

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



Winner: Mauritius


Best Beauty Brand


Barry M

Sleek MakeUP

St. Moriz

GOSH Cosmetics



St. Tropez




Winner:  Barry M


Best Self- Tanning Brand

Sienna X

St. Moriz

Fake Bake

Rimmel London


St. Tropez


Winner:  St. Moriz


Best Electronic Cigarette Brand


Vaepen London



Sky Cig

Winner: Gamucci


Best Highstreet Bank





Co-operative Bank



Winner: TSB


Best Mobile Phone Product

Iphone 5s

Sony Xperia Z1

Zuricom , Z-Phone

Samsung Galaxy, S4

Nokia Lumia, 1020


Motorola, Moto G


Winner : Nokia Lumia, 1020


Best Mobile Network

Lebara Mobile


Giff Gaff



Tesco Mobile

Virgin Media



Winner: EE


Best Radio Station


BBC Radio 2


Classic fm

BBC Radio 1



Smooth Radio


Winner: Heart


Best Value for Service Brand





Talk Talk






Premier Inn


Winner: Amazon


Best Fragrance

Jmmy Choo EDP

Paco Rabanne 1 million

Chanel Blue

Jean Paul Gaultier (Classique)

Issey Miyake

Nina Ricci

Dolce & Gabbana (Light Blue)

Marc Jacobs (Honey)


Winner: Paco Rabanne 1 million


Best Clothing Brand


Jack & Jones



Matthew Williamson


Paul Smith


Winner: Zara


Best Footwear Brand





Dr. Martens




Winner: Dr. Martens



Best Television Shopping Channel



JML Direct

TV Shop

Ideal World

Argos TV

Price Drop

Jewellery Channel

Winner:  JML Direct

Preparations are already on their way for next year’s Consumer Choice Awards which will  also include Consumers in attendance at the awards show.  The 2nd annual Consumer Choice Awards 2015 takes place in London on the 22nd of May 2015


#ConsumerChoiceAwards   Follow @brandweekly


PR/Partnerships/Media Accreditation Contact:

Jasmine Singh

T: 0044 (0) 207-018-2665


Gordon Williams

T: 0044 (0) 207-018-2665


Notes to Editors:

About Brand Weekly:
Brand Weekly is an online magazine, TV and events platform that connects brands directly to consumers . Brand Weekly offers innovative features, interviews with key decision makers from brands and vox pops from consumers who in turn provide direct feedback on new products and services on offer. Brand Weekly are official organisers for the Consumer Choice Awards across Europe. For more information:  . Follow @bran

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James Corden has proved himself in comic and dramatic roles. Now the larger than life writer, actor and presenter seeks to consolidate his movie star credentials with the tale of an opera singing underdog…

Everyone likes a good underdog story. It’s a real staple of British media. We just love being inspired by someone who can stand up against the odds and prove that where there’s a will there’s a way.When Simon Cowell developed his singing competition concept out to a broader talent show format in 2007, Britain’s Got Talent followed shows like Opportunity Knocks and New Faces to bring hope to people with the power to entertain but not the wherewithal to get the gigs.

James Corden, who in the new movie One Chance plays the show’s first winner, opera singer Paul Potts, is someone who’s never been afraid to show off his own talents. After making his name as a promising young actor in TV series Fat Friends, he went on to co-create, write and star in the hugely successful comedy, Gavin & Stacey.


From there it’s all seemed so easy, from presenting the BRIT Awards to playing one of the leads in the award-winning comedy play One Man, Two Guvnors, hosting Sky1’s sports panel show A League of Their Own and co-creating another comedy hit, The Wrong Mans. Now he’s confidently moving into movie star territory too.

So what kind of preparation was involved in toning down his usual over-the-top performances to play the quiet, shy Paul Potts? “I think it’s safe to say when someone rings you up and says do you want to play Paul Potts in a film, you don’t need to worry about going to join the gym!” he laughs.

 “He’s a lovely guy, very soft and kind-hearted. He’s very amiable. I had to talk with him so I could try to copy his voice. It’s strange playing someone who’s alive and well in the world, but I think my job was made easier with regards to the fact I was just playing his past and only up to the moment of Britain’s Got Talent. We all know him from there and that’s where the film kind of ends.”


Although Corden has been known to take to the mic every now and then, it’s a different matter altogether where opera is concerned. “I was very happy that I didn’t need to sing opera,” smiles the 35-year-old Londoner. “I sing in my current film [Can a Song Save Your Life?], but I don’t think that anyone should ever have to hear my version of Nessun dorma! There would be dogs in China thinking ‘what the hell is that noise?’ if I started singing!”

Potts, born in South Gloucestershire and raised in Bristol, came to the talent show as an amateur singer who had self-funded his dream of playing in operas. He had been bullied at school for his participation in the choir, denting his self-confidence, but nevertheless he continued with the determination to sing. He went into the BGT competition as a manager at Carphone Warehouse and after winning, went on to record the album, One Chance, which topped the charts in nine countries.

 “The story isn’t about Paul Potts and him winning Britain’s Got Talent,” Corden explains. “The film is about a boy who dreams of being an opera singer and everything that was put in his way and all the adversity he was faced with, but he still succeeds. It’s similar to great sports movies.”

And what of Corden’s own career? If it hadn’t taken off as it did, would he have considered the talent show route? “If my career didn’t take off, 100 per cent every day of the week I’d have been first in line, I’d have been there in a heartbeat,” he says.

“I think there’s good ones and bad ones where some of them treat people well and some don’t, but I think on the whole you just get your chance to soar and fly. People say it’s saturated and all of the charts are just people off reality TV shows now, and I think I don’t know what charts you’re listening to, but Adele wasn’t and Ed Sheeran didn’t and Mumford and Sons didn’t and Rihanna didn’t and Katy Perry didn’t and it just goes on and on until you realise that all the biggest acts in the world didn’t do these things. I think people are always out to knock them, but hey – what harm can it do?”

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Quintessentially launches new Lifestyle App

Luxury  lifestyle management & concierge service , Quintessentially Lifestyle launches new App.  The App which works on  both Android and Apple devices offers  unique recommendations of the top destinations in 50 of the world’s most stylish cities and insider access to the notoriously unattainable, such as entry to The Box and access to the must-have Birkin.

Using the exceptional knowledge of Quintessentially Lifestyle experts the App is not only home to a host of curated lists featuring the finest restaurants, hotels, spas, bars and nightclubs, but offers access for Non-Members to the ordinarily inaccessible. Whether it’s tickets to world-class, unmissable events across the globe or the must have latest limited edition watch, your smart phone now opens doors!

Q App Image

To navigate your way into the top venues across the world choose from entertainment, travel, and shopping or take advantage of the Q Insider button to uncover the city’s must visit events and locations. Once you have decided on the category discover an array of recommendations, and access to the life you once thought was impossible to acquire. As if access to the world of luxury wasn’t enough this App is also set to Surprise and Delight. As you turn a corner or enter a venue this unique function gives you access to one of a kind opportunities and exclusive offers direct to your phone. Using GeoTagging the Quintessentially Lifestyle App will alert you to tailored offers in your location – this could be a last minute table at a sought-after local restaurant or newly-released tickets for a wildly popular music concert.


With a presence in over 60 cities the Quintessentially Lifestyle App is your passport to the very best life has to offer. Every recommendation is a guarantee of excellence with each listing benefiting from local knowledge, this ensures that only the most exciting and greatest experiences are featured. Furthermore, the App gives users exclusive access to the top picks from our experts in Quintessentially Wines, Flowers and Gifts, along with the opportunity to efficiently make a purchase.


Whilst Non-Members can enjoy these exclusive insights and offers, it is the Quintessentially Lifestyle Members who will be able to make requests directly to their Lifestyle Managers at the touch of a button through this revolutionary App – making requests has never been so easy!

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Brand Weekly reviews the Top 10 Online Brand Protection Strategies for 2014

As the Internet continues to evolve and expand, so too do the risks to brand reputation and revenues. In the digital world, the business impact of brand abuse is instantaneous and sweeping. Consider these key strategies as you look to advance your brand protection plan in 2014.


  1. 1.       The New Reality: Generic Top-Level Domains are Here

Whether new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) represent new prospects for your business or another front to defend, every brand needs a strategy to address them. As hundreds of new gTLDs come onto the market, this is the time to decide whether to register, block or police your brands in the new registries. Work with your colleagues in legal and risk management, balancing risks, opportunities and budget constraints to develop your strategy.


  1. 2.       Time to Rethink Your Defences

With 600+ gTLDs expected to launch over the next three years, no company can afford to register every key brand term in every new extension. Most companies will need to rethink their approach to brand protection, shifting from a strategy based upon traditional defensive domain registrations to one that monitors the expanded Internet namespace for brand abuse. If you don’t already have established guidelines, your legal, brand protection and risk management teams should work with you to develop policies for detecting and mitigating domains that infringe on your trademarks and steal your traffic.


  1. 3.       Maximize Brand Protection Investments with More Efficient Enforcement

As your company develops its brand protection plans, technology enables you to scale your enforcement efforts and gain greater efficiencies. New technology can uncover crucial data that charts the relationship between rogue websites, identifying entire networks consisting of thousands of domain names. As a result, enforcement measures can disable entire networks of rogue sites rather than targeting sites one-by-one. This technology-centric strategy speeds up your investigations, maximizes the effectiveness of your legal strategies and produces greater ROI from your litigation investments. Learn more about how fashion and luxury brands are using technology to fight against rogue e-commerce websites.


  1. 4.       Make Domain Security a Priority

Hackers and hacktivists are hijacking domains with more frequency, redirecting or taking down sites altogether. No brand wants to see its company featured in the headlines as the victim of a domain hack! Domains are business-critical assets that demand around-the-clock protection to maintain business continuity and brand reputation. Be sure to employ multiple layers of protection, including state-of-the-art security from your domain name registrar. Learn the key steps to safeguarding your domains.


  1. 5.       Tailor Your Brand Protection Strategy for Greater Success in Asian Markets

Asia continues to be a fast-growing market and a hotbed for brand abuse. Successfully addressing these abuses requires a tailored brand protection strategy that accounts for local differences. Ensure your trademark registrations account for the requirements of different jurisdictions. Become familiar with the wide variety of promotional and distribution channels serving Asian markets and monitor both types of channels for brand abuse. Be sure to employ native-speaking brand protection professionals who thoroughly understand local Asian markets and their country-specific policies.


  1. 6.       Keep Up with Fast Movers – Social Media and Mobile

Brandjackers are quick to take advantage of rapidly growing digital channels, impersonating brands in social media and mobile. Both markets are fluid and evolving rapidly: new social networks or hot apps can dominate in mere months and acquisitions by larger companies can shift social platforms’ policies and approaches. Your brand protection strategy needs to be similarly fluid to stay ahead of brandjackers. Social sites in global markets such as China are also on the rise, requiring brands to develop a global monitoring strategy to head off brand issues. Learn more about how to protect your brand in social media.


  1. 7.       Cut-off the Pirates’ Revenue Stream

Pirate sites rely upon ad revenues—and unwitting advertisers—to fund their illicit endeavors. A successful strategy is to collaborate with advertising networks and exchanges as well as payment providers to automatically identify and remove ads hosted on pirate sites, disrupting pirates’ ability to profit and removing the threat to your brand’s luster.


  1. 8.       Brand Trust Matters More in an Omnichannel World

In today’s omnichannel world, consumers demand a seamless and authentic brand experience across channels. Whether researching a purchase, engaging in social media or conducting a transaction on the go, consumers seek “the real deal.” Brandjackers are acutely aware of this, impersonating brands with lookalike sites—and lookalike apps—to lure traffic, confusing customers and driving up digital marketing costs. Recent research revealed that one in five online shoppers was duped into visiting a site selling counterfeit goods while seeking digital deals. Savvy companies can continue to build consumer trust in the digital world with a comprehensive brand protection strategy that safeguards their customers from malicious brand impersonators.


  1. 9.       Protect Your Digital Content

Every company has digital content that needs to be protected: from movies, music, software or games to patents, client lists, software development kits or databases. If it has value, it’s vulnerable. Evaluate threats against your digital assets and develop a plan to protect them. Focus on how search engines may be driving traffic to sharing or cyberlocker sites that may be permitting unauthorized access to your digital content.


  1. 10.   Protecting Your Brand in the “Big Data” Era Yields Business Intelligence

A well-designed brand protection strategy for the digital world will not only safeguard your brand and your customers, but will also build competitive advantages. Use the data generated by your brand protection program to understand the market gaps that drive consumers to counterfeit goods and fill that need proactively by building new marketing, pricing, service and distribution strategies to capitalize on consumer demand. Partnering with your legal or brand protection teams can yield valuable insights that increase legitimate sales while undermining counterfeiters.

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Our Brains are hot-wired to make us good storytellers

We all love a good story and it’s no wonder as it seems our brains are hot-wired to make a story out of virtually anything.

According to scientists our brains are pre-ordained to make order out of chaos, to construct a story out of the debris of facts around us.

Warwick Business School Professor Nick Chater reveals how storytelling comes naturally as experiments have shown how our brains are continually putting order and structure on our environment and experiences.

“Just opening our eyes and surveying the scene in front of us requires an astonishing ability to synthesise order out of chaos,” said Professor Chater on BBC Radio 4’s The Human Zoo.

“The activity on our retinas which is caused by the stimulation of light is just amazingly noisy and amazingly complicated, yet we find order very effectively – the brain is an extraordinary ‘order-finding’ machine.

“People are always trying to impose structure on the environment and there are two structures natural to impose.

“One is causality, so we want to understand what caused what, so the unfolding experience in front of us does not seem like a disconnected jumble, but actually has a logical structure.

“On top of that the world does not just consist of objects acting causally, like dominos knocking each over, but also involves people and people behave because of reason. Therefore we also want to explain human action by what people believe; what their secret motives were, what their intentions were and this is something that is absolutely essential to the idea of stories – that people’s behaviour is explained by hidden reason.”

An experiment on Radio 4 listeners showed how even when not asked people will put order on to chaos.  Their task was to simply type out a sentence of mangled words and pass it on to the next person, like a game of Chinese whispers.

“We saw how people imposed order on a pattern even if their task is just to repeat it,” said Professor Chater. “They couldn’t help but re-arrange the letters so they could read the sentence properly. This ability to find order where there is none is something we can’t turn off.”

This bias towards putting things in order may give us a false reading of events like the financial crash, as a series of unforeseen events is now explained by most as being caused by ‘greedy bankers’.

“Our ability to produce stories about why things happened vastly exceeds our ability to predict what happens next,” said Professor Chater, head of Warwick Business School’s Behavioural Science Group. “That is a suspicious sign that we are over-interpreting the world. If you are going to explain the crash then there are many stories about this. It might be about different sectors of the economy, the housing market, bankers or too loose a fiscal policy, but the truth is pretty much nobody saw this coming.

“That is a clue that stories are not really an inevitable consequence of what went before – they are things we are imposing retrospectively.”

But Professor Chater believes that although this bias might produce an unreliable story of the past, it is vital if we are to survive in a chaotic world.

“The general bias to try to see order is a good one,” said Professor Chater. “Without having some structure we just don’t know what to do.

“So it is probably worthwhile for us to be biased towards seeing order in apparent chaos, even when the evidence is flimsy.”

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RUTH LANGSFORD is set to join the Loose Women panel as a regular anchor when the series returns in January 2014. Ruth will join the existing team of anchors: [Kaye Adams, Carol Vorderman and Andrea Mclean]  for her first show on Wednesday 8 January through to the end of the series and will continue to present ITV’s This Morning alongside husband Eamonn Holmes, every Friday, half term and holidays. Ruth said: “Loose Women has always been close to my heart. I have a long history with the show having done the very first series back in 1999. I am thrilled to be back with the girls on a more regular basis, here’s to being Loose in 2014!”ruth

Also in January, MYLEENE KLASS will be the first of a series of guest panellists to join the regular cast of women. The musician and TV presenter will appear as a guest panellist on Thursday 9 January. “I’m really excited to be part of a team of strong, feisty, fearless women. I look forward to joining a conversation that usually happens in my kitchen!”

ITV Director of Daytime, Helen Warner said: “Loose Women for 2014 will see our fantastic existing panellists joined by some new faces along the way.  We look forward to more in the way of fresh topical discussion; and to welcoming Ruth and Myleene in January.”

Have you got an interesting news story for Brand Weekly?  E-mail : 

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Who won the Headline stories in 2013? Miley Cyrus and the Snowden Files engage the public most for 2013

Major crowd-sourced study reveals that engaging content and shocking headlines create the biggest impact

What do Papal intimacy, a screaming goat and candy-deprived children have in common? They all appear in the definitive Scoreboard of Content 2013, compiled by Ogilvy Public Relations and The Huffington Post UK. The Scoreboard of the most impactful online content this year was revealed today following a crowd-sourced appeal to more than 7.7 million* influential consumers and creators.

The Scoreboard includes everything and anything from videos and tweets to hash-tags and selfies from around the globe.

An expert panel of judges from the worlds of academia, media, marketing, content creation and social networks divided the crowd-sourced favourites into Top Fives across five genres: Sex, Humour, Fame, News and Lifestyle.

The top scoring content in each category, and overall, is as follows:

  • Miley Cyrus’ fusion of sex and shock at the MTV Video Music Awards, tops off a year of increasingly sex-fuelled music video content, and puts her at the pinnacle of the sex category, and overall
  • For news, The Guardian’s ‘NSA Snowden Files’ scored highest, leading impactful news sharing online
  • A home-production YouTuber, MrEpicMann, takes the top spot in humour with ‘How animals eat their food’
  • Number one in the fame category is another home-generated piece of content, ‘Pope Selfie’, taken by @FabioMRagona
  • In lifestyle, Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches achieved the top grade


Whether fun or serious, the impact of the year’s top content is clear: between them, the Scoreboard’s Top 25 generated more than 1,113,100,000 views and 5,787,600 shares across social media.

Statistics, celebrity or monetary investment alone, however, did not guarantee impact in the mind of the public or top scores from our judges.

It was a combination of a hot title or headline, surprise and intimacy that our judges revealed as the keys to success.

The three secret ingredients of content success:

The keys to creating and identifying content that lives, catches fire across media, across mediums, across lives and through the years are:

  • A teasing, grabbing title or headline that demands universal engagement:  People need to know why to look, why to care and why to share in the first millisecond content is encountered
  • A promise of extremity: Extreme intimacy, exclusivity, sexiness, revelation, humour, shock or surprises are required to get noticed by the right people, and to get those people reacting, talking and sharing
  • A promise of social currency:  People need to feel that reacting to, with and sharing content reflects their own values and will benefit their own social standing and group

Red Topping: the new trend in online excellence

The Scoreboard reveals long-held principles of story-telling and mass appeal continue to define and determine popularity and success in the digital world. Humour, exclusivity, intimacy, shock, scandal, cuteness and teasing – the core facets of traditional ‘red-top’ reporting – kept the public engaged online and struck a chord in the UK’s collective psyche.

Money talks, but great storytelling walks

The Scoreboard demonstrates that whilst celebrity, professional production values and media-spend contributed heavily to the success of many top scoring entries, great content is does not rise to the top as a result of these factors alone. Across all the categories, home-grown or user-generated content which has been created with the keys detailed above, demonstrate another way exists. The algorithms of YouTube, Google and Facebook also ensure that the very rare pieces of content which drive engagement with no help are given help by the platforms themselves, and thus seen.

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Exclusive Interview: The Rise and Rise of Travelzoo



In October 1998, Ralph Bartel, a former print and television journalist, launched with an initial investment of $10,000. In September 2000, Travelzoo published its first Top 20 and e-mailed one million U.S. subscribers. All deals were researched, evaluated and tested by Travelzoo Deal Experts. In December 2003, Travelzoo became publicly traded on the NASDAQ SmallCap Market under the ticker symbol “TZOO”. As of March 2012, Travelzoo had over 25 million subscribers and 25 offices in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific. Brand Weekly decided to catch up with Head of Communications for Travelzoo, Louise Hodges to find out how Travelzoo became one of the largest publisher of travel, entertainment and local deals.



Welcome to Brand Weekly. How are you?

I’m very well thank you.

Fantastic. So, Travelzoo was launched in 2008. Can you tell us a little bit about your role at Travelzoo and what you provide in terms of products and services?

My role is Head of Communications in Europe. I look after the brands communications and relations. Firstly, Travelzoo was launched in 1998 in America. We launched in the UK in 2005. We are the UK’s top Travel and Entertainments deal provider. We search for the very best deals each week and the deals are all related to either travel or going out. It could be anything from a 5 star luxury cruise, to theatre tickets.

It appears things have been going from strength to strength as Travelzoo won the British Travel Awards last year (2012) as the Best Travel Deals Provider and you are in contention to win again this year. What makes you stand out from your competition?

Well, we also won that award again this year and we have just found out 2 days ago that we won the World Travel Award for Best Travel Deal Website. We must be doing something right!

Congratulations all around. Another fantastic reason to celebrate. So, what makes you stand out from the rest ?
I think the difference and the thing that lots of people don’t realise is that our deal experts spend hours researching and testing deals. If I give you an example: If they are looking for a 2 week holiday deal to Malaysia, they would actually find the best deal they can on the market and then they will act like a mystery shopper and call the travel company armed with loads of questions to make sure all the information about the deal is correct and that there are no hidden charges which is something you won’t find with a lot of other deal companies and websites where they just put together travel deals. We actually have real people making phone calls and mystery shopping, so I think that makes us stand out. The other thing is that after 15 years in this business we needed to review what makes a great deal and what makes an average deal and we publish the best we can find.

That leads quite nicely into my next question: How do you define a ‘Recommended deal’?

A recommended deal is a deal we feel is the very best for that week. So we do a publication called the Top 20, which is exactly what it says on the tin – It is the 20 best deals of that week. It goes out every Wednesday at eleven o’clock, and they give you a range of deals from all budgets. All the deals would have gone through our production team who have thoroughly tested and checked it, and it cannot be beaten for a similar deal on the market, so for example if it’s a hotel room, it will be a hotel that has a kind of ‘Wow’ factor, and we will negotiate something extra for our audience. So It could be a room that faces the beach rather than the car-park, or a room that includes a bottle of Champagne upon arrival, some amazing spa vouchers as well. So we will always try and sweeten the deal to give our audience something extra so they recommend it.

Added Value is always a must to keep consumers happy these days. Now, do you charge companies to get listed, and what is your criteria?

Our criteria is that the companies have to be reputable, so we do background checks on the companies and If there’s any new entrants into the market, we will make sure that we can find out as much as we can about their business and how they protect customers if things were to go wrong. It’s something that’s very important especially with recent gambles of volcanic ash cloud moving so we really do have to ensure that we only work with companies that are trusted and respected. In terms of advertising our company, yes people do pay to have their deals listed in the Top 20, but the fact that they are offering money doesn’t necessarily mean they will make it into the Top 20 because we operate very much like a magazine, in the sense that we have an editorial team who will only publish deals that they feel are newsworthy and are outstanding. We have a sales team who are constantly trying to get into work with their clients but obviously if the deals the clients are offering do not stack up and we can find something better in the market, our promise to our audience is that we will only publish the best deal.

So Travelzoo provides consumers with all inclusive holiday packages: flights, accommodation, entertainment – all in one go. Let’s talk about marketing –how do you market yourselves to remain relevant to your target audience?

There’s a range of different ways really, we have our trade marketing side which is where we sponsor associations such as , The British Travel Awards every year. We often tend to sponsor an element of that conference so that people are aware of our brand. In terms of consumer advertising, we don’t do any at the moment in the UK, so it’s all online and search marketing, and PR.

As Head of Communications at Travelzoo, what’s your average working day like?

Absolutely crazy! I can be in a different country within our 4 markets in Europe any day of the week. I look after the UK, France, Germany and Spain. Just this week for example, I’ve been in Munich and possibly off to Paris next week. So I tend to start my day looking at the headlines and finding out if there are any news angles that we can use to comment on. A big part of what we do is media relations. I work with the marketing team to find out what’s going on out there, to look after social media, to look at the bigger projects and campaigns we’ve been working on. Recently, we’ve just launched an app called Map the World which is a geography puzzle for children, and we’ve been involved with that, it’s been something developed by our CEO, so I’ve been doing a lot of press interviews and radio interviews about Map the World.

Map the World sounds great and an excellent concept to get kids interested in Geography. Have you got an App for Travelzoo and is this new app (Map the World) available on Android and all the different platforms?

Well, Travelzoo has got its own app which is for the Top 20 and our local deals, which is available on Android and iphone. Map the World has only been made available on iPad, because of the type of app it is, it requires a bigger screen than you find on a smart phone so we decided to launch it on that medium. So it really depends on the type of app that we would be launching, but we try to launch on all platforms where possible.
Now Louise, what we always do on Brand Weekly is play a little game which lets people get to know the personality behind the name. It’s called Top 5. So let’s start with your Top 5 Best Destinations of all time, for you personally.

I love city breaks, some of my favourite cities are Florence and Paris, and for further afield sunshine, I love Malaysia and the Philippines. For skiing – Courchevel is my favourite choice.

Brilliant. That’s some good choices! And finally to all our Brand Weekly readers planning a Christmas get-away or short breaks for 2014. Give us your Travelzoo top tips?

I think that some places are offering great value for next year, obviously there’s been a lot of interest in South America because of Brazil (The World Cup), and some of the neighbouring countries such as Uruguay and Chile will be offering better deals than usual, as we are trying to attract people who can’t get to Brazil.

Great. Louise, it’s been a pleasure having you on Brand Weekly. Take care, and Happy Christmas to you and the Travelzoo team!

Thank you Jordan same to you!

For more deals, tips and offers. Click Travelzoo

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Exclusive Interview: Canape Box MD, speaks to Brand Weekly about all things Food!!

We caught up with Managing Director of pioneering new brand Canape fresh from their sampling at the recent UMA’s exclusively for Brand Weekly Magazine. Canapé Box is headed up by experienced private chef, Christopher Messum. He is supported by a team of chefs at the top of their game – all who work tirelessly to produce deliciously fresh canapés that are bound to leave a lasting impression.

Canapé Box is located in leafy Cadmore End, a scenic village in Buckinghamshire.


Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): Welcome Chris from Canape Box to Brand Weekly! How are you today?

Christopher Messum: Very good thanks, Sam

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): Ok First let’s start with the past: So, what made you come up with a transparent price system for Canape Box as visible on your website?

Christopher Messum: Well, the product very much is just canapés, so we were trying to find a good start point for people who can recognise what they’re going to get, who can see what the product is and an easy system for them to purchase us really. To go straight in and they can see the prices and its simplicity.

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Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): Exactly, it’s really good to be able to see the prices up-front especially nowadays?

Christopher Messum: Yeah it’s helpful – people need to know

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): So, do you regularly compare yourself to other brand and are you quite competitive aswell?

Christopher Messum: For what we give, what we serve, the quality of what we serve, I believe we are competitive and I’ve had quite a few people actually mention ‘our good value’. So I think my prices match up.

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): Yeah definitely, I think so! And of course, the name Canapé box is quite different isn’t it? So what inspired you to come up with this fantastic concept?

Christopher Messum: Well, I wanted to deliver canapés, and deliver them in a box, and I punched it into the old ‘find your domain name’ and it was still available- canapé; so there we are! Basically, we got it straight in and… easy peasey!

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): Simple and sometimes is better to keep it simple, straight and easy especially for consumers who have so much options and sometimes so little time. That’s fantastic. How long has your company been going for?

Christopher Messum: Well this company, canapé box, would have been trading a year in July. So what’s that…15 months. We are certainly getting there! There is along way to go and lots to do!

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): I’m sure! In the early stages of building your company, did you have any difficulties?

Christopher Messum: Well, the same difficulties anyone has in starting anything really. You’ve got sort-of natural hurdles of finance and getting packaging sorted out and delivering your first orders. Some very natural growth problems… but if you predominately work at it you’ll achieve whatever you want really!

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): Growing up. Was getting into the food industry a dream and passion for you?

Christopher Messum: Well, food is the ultimate experience really! Food and wine and people and entertainment – that’s what everyone lives for. You do your work to enjoy life and food is so much part in the greater scheme of life. It’s certainly where your senses are and I remember loving eating and enjoying good food and wine when I was younger so yeah, I think it’s certainly part of one’s education all the way through really! I did a chefing diploma at the Leiths School of Food & Wine, and that’s a years diploma


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Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): Ok right well that’s the past done with, now in the present obviously you just sampled at our Urban Music Awards. How was the experience for you ?

Christopher Messum: It was a great experience! It was good fun, busy place, and we shared a few of our canapés, and I think the people were receptive really. We got a great range of different ideas, and I think we just came along with a few tasty nibbles and people loved them!

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): I agree, they were really good. Do you think events like the UMA’s are a great way to market your product?

Christopher Messum: Yes and I think as a marketing angle you need to have several different sorts of pillars in marketing, so one of them can definitely be promotional freebies and all that kind of thing, so yeah it’s definitely part of a bigger scheme of marketing and it’s always good to do.

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): Any plans of exapanding globally in the future?

Christopher Messum: Of course! I think we’ll stick with the UK in the immediate future, it would be great to try and get it into different countries certainly, you know, I think New York would be really cool. Just looking at the UK: different parts. Obviously London is the best of all. People know about canapés, people are prepared to pay for canapés. Certainly parts of Cheshire, around there, that’s a great angle we want to go to. And Edinburgh a little bit. It is quite a competitive market arena but we’ve got an interest in new products and new angles on how to do it and deliver it so, yeah. But canapé Box New York, sounds good to me!

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): Are you happy with your business plan for Canape Box so far?

Christopher Messum : The business plan sees it as beyond a £million turnover, so that would be good to reach the business plan. But we’re trying to develop more ranges, and more ideas around the concept. Get people familiar and friendly with the idea of having canapés as well as bowl foods and platters and all that kind of thing delivered to them, so they can do it themselves, and they can break out of the straight forward ‘calling out a caterer’ mould, which would be great! But yeah, expansion into bigger arenas and also the trade side but that’s not quite the same as what you’re talking about.

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): Ok well, what other sectors would you want to target?

Christopher Messum: Well we target quite a few sectors and people who help us with the business plan say we should just target one sector, but we do a lot of private stuff, we also do a lot of corporate stuff, law firms that kind of thing. But clubs & bars – big audience there. So yeah, stick to food for now and I think the actual canapé box thing is slightly adhered to the name and also what we do…but I think time will tell. As we get bigger we will have a lot more money to do things we can take on bigger projects and venture into different arenas.

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): Yeah, because we were thinking about this earlier in the office and something like WineBox has a good ring to it! You know, something like VodkaBox!

Christopher Messum: PicnicBox! Yeah certainly, there’s things like little hampers or classy hampers for big fairs and parties, Henley & Ascott… and those are all good places to get into. We need to design the packaging and some really fancy canapés just for two, and that would be quite cool, so we can have a little signature box or something like that.

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): That’s a brilliant idea and I could see that working.

Christopher Messum: Getting it planned…we’ve got a lot of energy going into new ideas in January/ February, once we’ve got Christmas out the way. So yeah, it’s a good thought!

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly) : We do a game on Brand Weekly, and it’s called Top 5. And basically it’s just for us to know the person behind the brand. SO! What is your Top 5 Brands of all time?

Christopher Messum: Well Virgin is probably the Ultimate brand, isn’t it? Those are pretty good. Crikey! I dunno! Holland & Holland? I’m just trying to think of things off the top of my head! Ferrari? It’s got to be a top luxury brand in a way. I’m never going to say anything like Coachella because they’re too corporate. I guess brands which are still small in a way…Ralph Lauren? I don’t know what else to say!

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly) : Top 5 TV Shows?

Christopher Messum: My wife catches me watching far too many of these reality TV shows.

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): We’ve all been there!

Christopher Messum:  It’s got to beHave I Got News For You’.   A little bit of the old critical satire.

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): Gotta love it. Ok, try one closer to home…Top 5 food choices?

Christopher Messum: Top 5 Food choices! Oh, they’re all good beef – it’s got to be Hereford’s Great, aged well. Fish is a good thing, it’s very difficult to find really fresh. And scallops. What else have we got? Chorizo- delicious. Barbequeued…grilled in fact! Vegetables – Saffron! Scallops, I’ve said already.

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly) :
And what about your Top 5 Food Chefs?

Christopher Messum: Well there’s a lot of chefs out there.. I would say Raymond Blanc is a classic, and going alongside him would be Michel Roux. Who else have we got here… Oh Ottelingi does some pretty cool stuff. Yeah! Those guys.

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly) : That’s great.

Christopher Messum: Heston Blumenthal is a bit sort of crazy. We do a lot of French stuff that’s well-skilled orientated, because I think you sort of move up from there really.

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly) : Yeah definitely

Christopher Messum: There’s a lot of good guys out there which we need to pay attention to: Reverchon, you know, people like Tom Keller.

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): And finally, this is the last question . Your Top 5 Restaurants and it can be in the world.

Christopher Messum: Top 5 restaurants in the world: I would like to go to Noma, which is out in Scandinavia isn’t it, so that would be great, that’s top. The Waterside, I would love to go to. That would be amazing -3 star Michelin, down in Bray. Fat Duck I have actually managed to get into, once, which was great. I’m also going to probably say Le Gavroche, which is just…for the price, 2 star Michelin experience, I think it’s well worth seeing.

Samantha Jones (Brand Weekly): Well, thank you very much.

Christopher Messum: Lovely, thank you to all at Brand Weekly and IEG. Speak soon!

Click here for more information on Canape Box

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