El Al taps RF its US firm to deal with rise in tourism

NEW YORK: El Al, the national airline of Israel, has selected Ruder Finn as its agency in the US after a three-month search.

NEW YORK: El Al, the national airline of Israel, has selected Ruder Finn as its agency in the US after a three-month search.

The search process included about two-dozen firms. RF was chosen out of the final three.

Terms weren't disclosed.

This is the first time the airline will be working with an agency in two-and-a-half years, after parting ways with Quinn & Co. because of budgetary reasons.

El Al needed agency help because of an increase in tourism and the addition of more flights, special services, and promotions in North America, said Sheryl Stein, El Al's advertising and PR manager in the US.

"The message needs to get out there that El Al has expanded and grown," she said.

El Al is currently owned in part by the Israeli government, but is planning to fully privatize this month, Stein noted.

One of the agency's first tasks will be a media campaign and branding strategy during the privatization process.

"I think they chose us because we were able to demonstrate that we understood the culture - what the current El Al passenger requires and is comfortable with," said Gail Moaney, EVP and director of RF's travel and economic development practice. "At the same time, we know the trends in the airline industry and can help them reach out to new passengers."

An estimated core team of six people will be working on the account.

"RF has a dynamic team who we felt met the needs of El Al and who had the creativity and the knowledge that made them a good match," Stein said.

The airline, which is known for its strict security standards, experienced a greater increase in bookings after 9/11, compared to most of the airline industry.

Bookings increased despite the entrance of newcomer Israir into the Israeli airline market.

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