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No Reservations About Richards

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DALLAS - As part of an international branding strategy, online travel and reservations specialist Sabre in Fort Worth, Texas, has consolidated its entire advertising account with The Richards Group here.
Richards earlier this year was assigned the $3-5 million account for Sabre's consumer-oriented Travelocity Web site reservation system.
Richards' billings for the entire account were undisclosed. According to the company's annual 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, annual Sabre advertising costs for the past three years were between $37 million and $44 million annually. Major media advertising was minimal, however, at less than $100,000 in 1998, per Competitive Media Reporting.
Greg Clark, Richards Group principal and head of the interactive Click Here unit, said the shop will help develop a global brand image for Sabre. The mission will include creating a new logo and a unifying message for all Sabre products and services.
Sabre is 82 percent owned by AMR, per Hoover's Online, but was spun off as an independently managed company in 1996. The account was previously at Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas, the lead agency for AMR-owned American Airlines.
According to the company (which recently changed its name from Sabre Group), it was recently restructured to unify the sales, marketing and technology functions of the business operation.
"The single, unified approach better positions Sabre to identify and capture synergies for its customers across all areas in the travel and transportation industries," the company noted in a statement.
The Richards Group entered the Sabre fold in January, when Travelocity selected the agency in a creative shootout against Hadeler Sullivan & Law in Dallas and Fogarty Klein & Partners of Houston. Travelocity was seeking an "Internet savvy" company that also utilized traditional marketing techniques. ¡