Six candidates picked for BA’s European work

British Airways has selected six agencies to present credentials for its pan-European PR account, which will be led from London and is expected to run into a seven-figure fee.

British Airways has selected six agencies to present credentials

for its pan-European PR account, which will be led from London and is

expected to run into a seven-figure fee.



The agencies picked for the corporate and consumer brief include:

Burson-Marsteller, Shandwick, GCI, Rowland PR Worldwide and Hill and

Knowlton.



BA expects to shortlist three of these to pitch.



BA’s UK and Ireland PR is not up for repitch. BA uses Brunswick in the

UK. Its key European markets are France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the

Nordic region and Belgium.



BA’s European review is the first stage of a worldwide agency review

initiated by the airline’s newly appointed international communications

head, Louise Tingstrom (PR Week, 20 November 1998). Once a European

agency is appointed, Tingstrom expects to go through the same process in

BA’s other regions: the Americas, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and

Africa.



The selected agencies will replace the airline’s current patchwork of

about 63 agencies worldwide. These include K2C Relations Publiques in

France and Jerry Bergstrom in Sweden. BA’s German PR is currently

handled in-house.



Tingstrom said: ’The agency really needs to have a focus on marketing

communications. The aim is to help the local sales, marketing and PR

teams reach their objectives as well quite as a chunky corporate brief.’

Explaining BA’s decision to shortlist agencies with global networks, she

added: I believe that, with a network of wholly-owned or specially

picked agencies you can achieve greater benefits.’



Earlier this month, British Airways announced disappointing third

quarter results, with a pounds 75 million loss, compared to the pounds

80 million profits registered for the same period last year.



BA is a member of the Oneworld alliance, whose other members include

Finnair, Iberia, American Airlines, Qantas and Cathay Pacific.



The airline announced a review of its worldwide PR agencies at the end

of 1997 under then communications director Kevin Murray. These plans

were put on hold when Murray quit BA, to be replaced by current PR chief

Simon Walker, last April.



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