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