Company loses €150,000 in social media marketing

Thomas Cook-owned online booking firm underestimates response

Hotels4U, a leisure-focused hotel booking website owned by tour operator Thomas Cook, quickly suspended a one-day discount campaign conducted via social media when it realised it had lost around €150,000 in the first few hours. The idea was to get users to book holidays on Christmas Day. The campaign offered £50 (€61) off all bookings made on that day, planning for around 570 bookings. But by as early as 06.30, more than 2,600 bookings had been made. The promotion was suspended half an hour later, reinstated at 11:00, and soon afterwards cancelled altogether.
Yesterday, Hotels4U had to explain why it stopped the campaign to the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority, following complaints from customers.
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