Flybe hires Red to handle national consumer brief

Flybe, the UK’s third-largest low-cost airline, has hired The Red Consultancy as it bids to step up its national consumer PR and promote itself as a ‘low-cost airline with style’.

Red won a three-way pitch for the remit, replacing Emerald Media as the airline’s retained consumer PR agency, according to Flybe general manager of PR and public affairs Sara Randall Johnson.

Randall Johnson said she had initial discussions with ‘around seven’ agencies for the contract, which sees the airline’s PR take on a more national focus. Red will also handle corporate comms. It is understood, however, that Flybe’s annual consumer PR spend will remain unchanged at around £100,000.

Flybe, which rebranded from British European in July 2002, flies from Exeter, Southampton, Bristol, Birmingham, Belfast and the Channel Islands, but plans to expand in the UK in the North. In the South East, Randall Johnson said the airline wanted to encourage more Londoners to consider flying on its routes out of Southampton. She said Emerald Media had worked for Flybe for two-and-a-half years.

In August Flybe hired GPC International and PPS Group to bolster its lobbying as the Government prepares to publish its aviation White Paper (PRWeek, 8 August). Red’s PR campaign will start in January, with an account team run by deputy MD Andrew Baiden, who reports to Randall Johnson and marketing director Mike Rutter.

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