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
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
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
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.