The Emirates airline has hired Bell Pottinger Communic tions as its
first global comm nications adviser. The account was awarded after a
four-way pitch, which included Shandwick International, Hill and
Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller.
The brief, which carries a seven-figure fee, involves co-ordinating the
activities of Emirates’ existing 23 PR agencies around the world.
’Emirates has decided to appoint a central agency to manage its global
network and offer strategic advice,’ said senior consultant David
McDonough, who will head the account.
Bell Pottinger reports to Dubai-based Mike Simon, Emirates head of
corporate communications, and Boutros Boutros, general manager of media
According to McDonough, a team of five Bell Pottinger consultants will
offer strategic advice on all aspects of Emirates’ global
communications, including media relations, lobbying and sports
The agency is also appointing four staff with travel industry experience
as regional communications managers. A senior regional communications
manager, together with a deputy, will co-ordinate day-to-day activity
for UK, Europe and North America. Meanwhile, the Asia-Pacific and
India/South East Asia areas will have their own regional communications
manager. This team will report to McDonough and will double as the UK’s
on-the-ground PR team.
The move is part of Emirates’ continuing strategy to raise its profile
as a global brand. The company was voted ’airline of the year’ for 2000
by the Official Airline Guide.