INTERNATIONAL: Ogilvy PR Worldwide wins British Airways China brief

BEIJING: British Airways has appointed Ogilvy PR Worldwide as its

retained agency for China.

The incumbent agency of five-years' standing, Weber Shandwick Worldwide,

did not take part in the four-way pitch for the work.

Gemma Moore, BA's London-based senior communications manager, said the

review of agencies was undertaken 'as we felt it was time to get some

fresh ideas', and said that the split with WSW was amicable.

The team at Ogilvy will be headed by director Stephen Turner, who

reports to Peter Liver, BA general manager for China.

The four-strong team, which includes consultant Angela Fu, will also

liaise with the international PR team based in London.

The agency is briefed with supporting local marketing initiatives, such

as next month's launch of new business-class products; crisis

preparedness; and running the corporate press office.

According to Moore, BA's local agencies are expected to 'interpret

global strategy and make it relevant to the local market'.

She said this was one of the reasons BA tended to pick individual

agencies, rather than hiring networks - at least in the Asia-Pacific


BA, along with Qantas, recently appointed Edelman PR Worldwide to handle

work for the Hong Kong market, where the two airlines have a

joint-marketing agreement (PRWeek, 25 May).

Edelman works on a brief to oversee crisis communications and issues

management alongside running promotional campaigns.

Incumbent Hill & Knowlton lost the account due to a conflict of

interest - the agency was appointed in April to work for Continental

Airlines in Hong Kong.

BA targets audiences mainly in Beijing and Shanghai.

It flies direct to London four times a week, from Beijing, and is

introducing its beds in business class on this route next month - the

first campaign Ogilvy will work on for the airline.

Growth in air travel markets to and from Asia-Pacific has been forecast

to increase by an average of more than six per cent during the next ten


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