Published on Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lowcostholidays blames 'over zealous' employee for 'Thomas Crooked' slur

Lowcostholidays has withdrawn an online ad campaign asking consumers if they’ve been ‘Thomas Crooked’.

It has removed the ads after Ian Ailles, CEO of Mainstream for Thomas Cook UK & Ireland, said Thomas Cook would be taking legal action (see earlier story). Thomas Cook has since dropped any action.

Lowcostholidays chief executive Paul Evans has issued an apology for the ads and blamed an "over zealous member of staff’.

He told TravelMole: “I have apologised to Ian personally - as soon as I saw it. And we have withdrawn it. It was an over zealous member of staff and we have dealt with the issue.”

In a statement earlier today, Ailles said: "It is shocking the tactics some will stoop to. This is totally unacceptable and defamatory and we're taking immediate legal action against them."

ABTA has confirmed that it is investigating the Google advert to see if it breaches the association's Code of Conduct.

Both companies are ABTA members. Under the ABTA Code of Conduct no member is allowed make comments about another member's financial status or bring a fellow member into disrepute.

by Bev Fearis

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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.