International news - BA reviews public affairs account after just six months of Brunswick

LONDON: British Airways is reviewing its public affairs account, six months after awarding it to Brunswick, and two months after Robert Webb QC joined the company to head its legal, regulatory and government affairs team.

LONDON: British Airways is reviewing its public affairs account, six months after awarding it to Brunswick, and two months after Robert Webb QC joined the company to head its legal, regulatory and government affairs team.

British Airways is understood to have informed agencies of the repitch this week, and will receive presentations in a matter of days.

The company's public affairs brief covers parliamentary monitoring, political media relations and strategic advice on Governmental and regulatory issues facing both BA and its recently launched 'no frills' economy airline, Go.

Brunswick reports to BA chief executive Bob Ayling and to communications director and former Brunswick partner, Simon Walker. Walker was appointed last April following the sudden departure of Kevin Murray, the architect of BA's drive to improve internal communications and boost staff morale.

The new agency is also expected to report to Webb, who answers directly to Ayling. Webb's role was previously handled by Ken Walder, who left last summer.

BA appointed Brunswick earlier this year, after a pitch against APCO UK, Lawson Lucas Mendelsohn and GPC, overseen by parliamentary affairs manager Jane Johnston. GPC handled BA's public affairs before Brunswick.

BA used to employ Bell Pottinger Communications on a retainer, but it is now understood to use the agency for special projects.

Former GPC managing director Mike Craven this week launched his own public affairs consultancy, Lexington Communications.

Craven handled the BA account while at GPC. Since leaving the firm in January, he has worked as the Labour Party's chief media spokesman. He will head the new agency with his co-partner and former GPC director Ian Kennedy.

Lexington Communications employs six staff.

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