Marriott has angered a major travel agency group with its latest advertising campaign to encourage travellers to bypass intermediaries.

The campaign was launched earlier this week under the title #ItPaysToBookDirect and features Amercian comedian, actress and “YouTube personality” Grace Helbig in a series of videos designed to extol the financial virtues of booking direct with the chain.

The chain argues that guests who book on the brand’s website or via its call centre will be able to access the rates and obtain the most accurate information about a property. Marriott plans to show the ads online as one-minute spots and then extend the campaign to Facebook during November.

Nothing wrong with that, some might argue, given the challenge most hotel chains have to secure more direct bookings and “own the customer”.

Unfortunately for Marriott, some are hoping the campaign will be curtailed quickly.

The American Society of Travel Agents concedes that suppliers “have the right to market their product however they choose”, but has questioned whether Marriott’s campaign is “legal and truthful”.

Read full article at: Tnooz