British Airways is reviewing its public affairs account, held by
GPC Market Access for the past 16 months.
GPC, Lawson Lucas Mendelsohn, APCO Associates, GJW and Brunswick are
understood to among those pitching for the account.
The chosen agency will handle strategic advice and parliamentary
monitoring, liaising with BA’s parliamentary affairs manager, Jane
Johnston confirmed that the account was up for review, adding that: ’The
contract is due to expire at the end of May, so it was an opportune time
to review. GPC Market Access are among the companies invited and we have
a very good relationship with them’.
BA’s public affairs agenda is broad and is believed to include the
airline’s continuing discussions with European Commission competition
regulators on its proposed strategic alliance with US company American
Airlines, which was first announced almost two years ago.
Other issues facing the company include: its new no-frills airline, Go,
which was launched last month and has come under fire from its
competitors, who fear BA will cross-subsidise what is supposed to be an
independent company; the future of Heathrow’s Terminal 5; and proposals
to privatise the UK air traffic control service.
Last month, Peter Robinson, a director at GPC Market Access who headed
up the agency’s BA account, left GPC for rival agency APCO. His
assistant on the account, consultant Katherine Edwards, is also leaving,
to join supermarket giant Tesco.