Emirates puts £1m account out to pitch

Bell Pottinger was this week fighting to cling on its flagship Emirates account, following a competitive pitch held in London.

Emirates: Dubai-based ariline is largest in the Middle East
Emirates: Dubai-based ariline is largest in the Middle East

The last time Emirates pitched its main account it was worth over £1m in fee income . It is understood to be worth a similar amount for 2008.

Citgate Dewe Rogerson, Lexis and Publicis were among the five agencies inv­olved in the pitch.

Dubai-based Emirates is one of the world's largest and fastest-growing airlines, and is the largest in the Middle East. It carried about 17.5 million passengers during the 2006/07 financial year. Its competitors include recen­tly launched United Arab Emirates carrier Etihad.

Bell Pottinger Public Rel­ations chairman David Wilson said: ‘We have had an inc­redibly successful eight years with Emirates and we are keen to ret­ain the business.'

In 2000, Bell Pottinger saw off Weber Shandwick, Hill and Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller to win the Emirates acc­ount, which inv­olved co-ordinating Emi­rates' 23 agencies across the world.

The agency then hired British Airways head of news Iain Burns specifically to work on the account. Burns returned to BA after a year and was eventually made comms director.

Burns left BA following price-fixing allegations and is now V-P of corporate comms at rival Etihad .

Separately, Bell Pottin­ger has emerged triumphant following a competitive pitch for Dubai Aerospace last week. Ketchum, H&K and B-M were also involved.
Dubai Aerospace is ano­ther of the agency's big acc­ounts. The global brief is und­erstood to be worth more than £250,000 a year.

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