Gardiner hired for airline makeover

DUBLIN: National Irish airline Aer Lingus has hired The Gardiner Consultancy of Melville, NY to launch its North American corporate image campaign.

DUBLIN: National Irish airline Aer Lingus has hired The Gardiner Consultancy of Melville, NY to launch its North American corporate image campaign.

President Alexander Gardiner cemented the deal with Aer Lingus chairman Bernie Cahill and CEO Gary Cullen two weeks ago. While the value of the account was not disclosed, the contract calls for the agency to represent the airline for a year, with options to renew at a later date.

Aer Lingus' hire of Gardiner ? a former British Airways PR chief ? to handle the corporate image assignment follows his retention by the Irish airline in February as a consultant. His first task will be to raise the airline's profile among business travelers.

'This is an excellent company that has largely gone unnoticed within the business community,' Gardiner said. 'Image-wise, it is nowhere near as well-represented as you'd think it would be.' He is planning a major media relations effort, targeting print, TV, radio, and Internet outlets, to increase awareness.

Aer Lingus recently opened a Los Angeles hub in May to tap into the West Coast travel market, and served as a corporate sponsor for this year's 'Wall Street 50,' an event honoring 50 Irish Americans doing business on Wall Street.

Gardiner established his agency in January after he left British Airways. The firm has picked up big accounts, including Hilton International UK.

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