LONDON: Qatar Airways is reviewing its UK PR work amid moves to boost its international profile.
The state-owned carrier has launched a review of its relationship with retained agency The Brighter Group.
It is understood to be in closed talks with a small number of agencies, including the incumbent, following an initial selection process handled by the airline's London office.
A spokesman for Qatar Airways confirmed the review and said the company was “very progressive and aggressive” in its growth strategy.
“The incumbent has done a fine job, and this review is part of a normal procedure,” he said. “We are a lifestyle brand, and we will continue to promote that brand around the world.”
The hunt comes at a time of growing opportunity for the promotion of Qatar and the airline, following FIFA's controversial decision to award the country the 2022 World Cup.
In March, the airline signed a £25 million-a-year (about $38 million per year) sponsorship deal with FC Barcelona, replacing the Qatar Foundation as the first corporate sponsor of the Spanish soccer club. Qatar Airways will also join the Oneworld global airline alliance later this year.
There have also been reports, which have been denied, of talks between Qatar Airways and International Airlines Group about the prospect of becoming the largest shareholder in the parent of British Airways and Iberia.
One agency figure pointed to the fact that Qatar Airways had resumed its Boeing 787 Dreamliner services between Doha and London's Heathrow Airport after a worldwide grounding of the aircraft in January.
“Consumer and travel work will be important, but there's likely to be a strong corporate and crisis element,” he said.
Meanwhile, The Brighter Group has won a brief for online travel and leisure deals publisher Travelzoo. The agency will oversee consumer and b-to-b work to raise awareness of Travelzoo and position it as the most trusted deals specialist in the marketplace.
This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.