Friday, February 09, 2007

CarRentals vs Travelsupermarket - you decide

Earlier this week we wrote a story about a growing war of words between CarRentals.co.uk and TravelSupermarket.

  • CarRentals had a go at TravelSupermarket...
  • ...TravelSupermarket hit back with a strongly worded statement...
  • ...everyone starts getting a little hot under the collar
The basis of the argument is that CarRentals believes meta search engines, like TravelSupermarket (which it singled out especially), are only “playing” at providing comprehensive information to consumers.

CarRentals suggested, in not so many words, that meta search engines have built a reputation by hoodwinking consumers into thinking they are getting a comprehensive set of results (which it claims it can provide).

Anyway, the latest missive from Gareth Robinson, CarRentals marketing director, (a response to a response – keep with us on this one) goes like this:
“TravelSupermarket is missing the point. Sites such as theirs have their place in the market - they use a particular business model based on pay per click (PPC), but we feel there is a gap in the market for a comparator that is commission (CPA) based rather than click revenue based.

“The PPC approach used by these comparators is a great revenue stream for them as most visitors will click through to different providers several times. But that isn’t beneficial to the companies paying to be listed as it’s costing them without guaranteeing a booking.

“As a result many companies choose not to work with these comparators, largely because of the potential for escalating costs involved in the PPC approach. Ultimately this means consumers don’t get the breadth of choice to find the best deals.

“We get paid a commission on actual bookings, meaning it’s in our interests to offer the best possible deals for consumers and this is at the core of our commitment to offer a fairer, more comprehensive comparator site.”
Expect this one to roll and roll…

[Incidentally, see how they get on in a GoogleFight - it's pretty overwhelming]

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

2 comments:

Steve E said...

There already are CPA comparison engines, Henoo.com for one (seeing as it's run by an affiliate network).

Darren Cronian said...

Both of have a place, and holidaymakers are much more internet saavy, and will compare more than one site for the best deal [I know I do!]