American Airlines puts ads and comms under one roof

FORT WORTH, TX: American Airlines has appointed a senior communications exec at tech giant Hewlett-Packard to its top PR role, which will – for the first time – also oversee advertising activity.

HP executive director of PR and communications Roger Frizzell will assume the post of vice-president corporate communications and advertising at American from 29 September.

American’s top PR position had been vacant since March, when former corporate communications vice-president Tim Doke left to take a newly created role of vice-president communications at computer giant Dell (PRWeek, 14 February).

Along with the range of public relations activities that Doke oversaw at American, Frizzell takes an expanded remit that also puts him in charge of advertising.

He will also take charge of AA Publishing, a business unit that publishes five magazines including American Way and Southwest Spirit.

Gus Whitcomb, who has overseen American’s corporate communications since February as acting managing director, will have ‘acting’ dropped from his job title. He will report to Frizzell.

American has also announced that it will take its in-flight products and interactive marketing functions under the umbrella of its marketing department.

As with all US-based airlines, American – which is a division of Fort Worth-based AMR Corporation – has faced tough times since the September 11 attacks, and has implemented a tough cost-cutting programme in a bid to revive its fortunes.

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