Australian travel insurance company iTrek’s "The Travel Agent is Dead" promotion is dead. But the company apparently didn’t want to leave the ring without taking a few last jabs at those responsible for its demise.
On its website, iTrek acknowledged that it had halted the contest, which invited consumers to submit 30-second videos illustrating the theme, following an outcry from agents and iTrek’s insurance underwriter, Chartis.
Chartis is the parent company of Travel Guard, an insurance company that relies on travel agent sales. Travel Guard said last week that it had persuaded iTrek to terminate the promotion.
But it was obvious from iTrek’s website that the company wasn’t too pleased. "Unfortunately," iTrek reported, the contest "has come to a tragic and premature end due to hostile response from travel agents in both the USA and Australia."
"There has been a biblical overreaction by travel agents to this marvelous competition," iTrek said.
"Itrek is up to 50% cheaper than a travel agent, and they did not want this message to be heard by you, the Australian public. This will be exposed."
Although the promotion is RIP, perhaps we should paint the contest as only "mostly dead." While the company canceled an event at which the finalists' videos were to be shown, iTrek said it would still judge entries and award prizes.
"The pressure that was put on our underwriter to withdraw support for this competition was of the highest degree," iTrek protested.
Maybe. But we wonder if Travel Guard would quibble with the notion that Chartis had offered any "support" in the first place.