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British Airways announces outcome of major agency pitch

March 20, 2014

British Airways has today announced its new marketing agency structure following a pitch of its major partners.

The decision was taken to conduct the pitch as the market place has changed considerably in recent years and the airline was looking to review its agency model.

The solution the airline is adopting will be a first for the marketing industry thanks to a radical new approach developed by the winning agency, BBH.

The agency, which has held British Airways’ advertising account since 2005, will now manage loyalty and digital marketing communications in addition to its advertising remit for the airline.

Incumbent agency, e-Dialog, which is responsible for the airline’s email marketing, has successfully pitched to continue in that role under its parent-company’s name; eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions.

Abigail Comber, British Airways’ head of marketing, said: “We launched this pitch in order to explore the agency market place and see what was on offer, as we had had some of our larger agency contracts for many years. Being conscious that the agency market place and consumer consumption of advertising has changed, we set out a challenge to put engaging content at the heart of every piece of communication, whatever the channel.

“The process was rigorous and we were clear with all the agencies that the solution that delivered us great creativity combined with economies of scale would be the winner. We wanted them to be radical.

“The BBH team didn’t rest on its laurels and really pulled out all the stops to create a bespoke solution, pulling together talent from different pools and demonstrating that they can manage our account across the range of disciplines. Most importantly, it’s a model that
will work in the future too.”

In order to deliver highly connected communications to British Airways, BBH have put in place a joint venture with Simon Hall and Warren Moore.

This will be fuelled by data and powered by the very latest technology. There will be one aligned team, sitting under one roof with a shared set of commercial objectives.

Ben Fennell, CEO of BBH London, said: “This win is a watershed moment for BBH. The model we have tabled for British Airways is future facing, performance driven and digitally focused. Our partners Hall & Moore bring complementary and different skills, but a completely
shared vision for how 'To Fly. To Serve' can power British Airways’ business and brand.”

British Airways was recently voted the UK’s No 1 brand in the 2014 Superbrands ratings, the first time an airline has ever been awarded top position.

The airline is investing more than £5bn in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.