British Airways lines up agencies for lobbying pitch

British Airways, whose planned alliance with American Airlines has come under threat of legal action from the European Commission, has put its lobbying contract up for grabs in the wake of the collapse of its long-standing agency Ian Greer Associates.

British Airways, whose planned alliance with American Airlines has

come under threat of legal action from the European Commission, has put

its lobbying contract up for grabs in the wake of the collapse of its

long-standing agency Ian Greer Associates.



The airline is believed to be seeing pitches this week from Market

Access, Westminster Strategy, Westminster Communications, GJW and AS

Biss and Co - which took over many of IGA’s UK staff and clients last

year.



Another former IGA client, construction giant Alfred McAlpine, has opted

not to work with AS Biss and Co and is now reviewing its needs. Company

secretary Garry Forster said McAlpine, which had retained IGA for

several years, would decide whether to hold a new pitch on completion of

the review.



IGA’s work for BA spanned more than ten years and involved several

high-profile campaigns such as its successful opposition to proposals

for the divesting of certain lucrative routes and its takeover of

British Caledonian. Industry sources suggest that by the time IGA fell,

the once lucrative contract was worth less than pounds 50,000 and only

involved parliamentary monitoring.



A BA spokesman said the pitch was a routine review, which had not been

precipitated by the collapse of IGA. He declined to comment on the

nature of the appointed agency’s brief or whether it would include BA’s

planned alliance.



The UK Government’s referral of the plan to the Office of Fair Trading

instead of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission was condemned by the EC

and rival carriers.



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