Korean airport taps Burson in dollars 5m deal

INCHON CITY, SOUTH KOREA: The Inchon International Airport Authority has awarded a dollars 5 million-plus PR account - believed to be one of the biggest ever awarded in Asia - to Burson-Marsteller. The agency triumphed over finalists Hill & Knowlton, Edelman and Fleishman-Hillard.

INCHON CITY, SOUTH KOREA: The Inchon International Airport Authority has awarded a dollars 5 million-plus PR account - believed to be one of the biggest ever awarded in Asia - to Burson-Marsteller. The agency triumphed over finalists Hill & Knowlton, Edelman and Fleishman-Hillard.

INCHON CITY, SOUTH KOREA: The Inchon International Airport

Authority has awarded a dollars 5 million-plus PR account - believed to

be one of the biggest ever awarded in Asia - to Burson-Marsteller. The

agency triumphed over finalists Hill & Knowlton, Edelman and

Fleishman-Hillard.



Burson’s selection was a surprise, given an insider’s tip that H&K was

the heavy favorite to win the business. Yet having already carved out a

substantial presence for itself in the region with the acquisition of

its Korean affiliate Merit Communications in September, Burson is said

to have pressed very hard for the account. With the combined firepower

of Merit and a win of this magnitude, Burson’s supremacy in the region

is not likely to be challenged any time soon.



’It was the most comprehensive and complex RFP we have ever received,’

said Merit/Burson-Marsteller representative director Bryan Matthews.

’Our proposal included everything from international media relations to

speaking at airline conventions to direct appeals to airlines.’



Burson’s task will be to position the airport as the top regional hub in

Northeast Asia, ahead of Seoul’s Kimpo airport and Shanghai’s Pudong

airport. The PR campaign will likely aim to attract investors,

franchisees and major airlines to the airport before it opens in early

2001. Several international airlines dropped unprofitable Korean routes

during the recent Asian recession, and few have since resumed service.

But serving as the hub airport for the 2002 soccer World Cup, the future

is more promising.



The PR-led bid for the airport business also included ad agencies and

airport consultancies, with Burson teaming up with sister ad firm DY&R

and Washington, DC-based airport analysts GKMG.



The new airport, built on reclaimed land approximately 25 miles west of

Seoul, is slated to be one of the most modern facilities in the region,

complete with its own internal train and road network.



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