Shortly after Madeleine McCann went missing from the Mark Warner resort at Praia da Luz in Portugal, I took a look at the Mark Warner site to see how they were handling their side of the sad event from a travel PR perspective.
There was little more than a statement but it was sensitively done and prominently flagged on their home page. No rolling updates, but then that wasn’t their job. It was right and proper to support the campaign to find Madeleine but then get on with the business of looking after the rest of their guests.
Such was the worldwide interest in the case however, my post – and like many people, I mis-spelled her name here and there as Madeline McCann – appeared on the first page of Mark Warner’s search results and received a hefty number of comments (far more than I approved for publication).
Five months on, I decided to take another look at the Mark Warner site to see if they still publicly acknowledge their, albeit distant, connection in the public’s mind with poor lost Madeleine.
The answer is that, yes, they still have a Madeleine McCann link on their home page but it is nestled at the far end of the secondary navigation, at the bottom of the page beside Terms and Conditions and Accessibility.
When you click on this it takes you to a simple page with a photo of Madeleine McCann and the web addresses for www.bringmadeleinehome.com and www.findmadeleine.com All fine and good. I think that is just as much and as little as I would have advised them to do.
My only problem with this page is that it is contained in a frame which prominently displays the sales numbers for Mark Warner Sun and Mark Warner Ski. That could be seen as unnecessary and insensitive. I doubt if many people looking into that little girl’s eyes will be moved to pick up the phone to book a week’s skiing holiday in Kitzbuhel.