Emirates in final stages of US AOR search

DUBAI, UAE: International airline Emirates is in the final stages of a competitive review for a new PR agency partner in the US.

DUBAI, UAE: International airline Emirates is in the final stages of a competitive review for a new PR agency partner in the US.

The company, which brought on Hill & Knowlton as US AOR in 2011 after an RFP, is in the procurement phase of the process. The scope of work for H+K's contract included both corporate and consumer PR, as well as social media and sponsorships. Before H+K, Emirates had worked with M. Silver Associates in the US.

Two agencies are competing for the business, according to an individual with knowledge of the subject.

Representatives from Emirates did not respond to inquiries seeking comment. H+K representatives could not be immediately reached for comment.

It is understood that the account's budget started at about $500,000 but has decreased as it has gone through the procurement process. Agencies have already pitched their creative ideas for the account.

“Procurement is becoming the de facto new brand manager,” the source said.

Last April, Emirates launched its first integrated campaign, “Hello, Tomorrow,” to increase international brand awareness and change the company's image to that of a lifestyle brand.

Last November, Emirates reported a 17% year-over-year revenue increase in the first half of 2012 to about $9.6 billion. The company also reported a net profit of $462.9 million in the first six months of last year. 

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