Club Med's Not-So-Laid-Back Marketing

To break out of bleak times, the resort operator is using a hard-nosed approach that features highly targeted infomercials

What's a nice brand like Club Med doing in infomercials? From its late-1970s heyday as a sun-and-sex haven until just last fall, Club Méditerranée did plenty of traditional -- and expensive -- brand-building, from lavish TV commercials to big-time sports sponsorships. But the travel industry is caught in what seems like an endless hurricane season. During one of the worst travel periods in decades, Club Med has been battered by a weak economy, fears of terrorism, and cheaper competition from cruise lines and rival operators.

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