British Airways is reviewing its public affairs account, six months
after having awarded it to Brunswick and two months after Robert Webb QC
joined the company to head its legal, regulatory and government affairs
British Airways is understood to have told agencies of the repitch this
week and will receive presentations in a matter of days.
The company’s public affairs brief covers parliamentary monitoring,
political media relations and strategic advice on Governmental and
regulatory issues facing both British Airways and its recently launched
’no frills’ airline, Go.
Brunswick reports to BA chief executive Bob Ayling and to communications
director and former Brunswick partner, Simon Walker. Walker was
appointed last April after the sudden departure of Kevin Murray, the
architect of BA’s drive to improve internal communications and boost
The new agency is also expected to report to Webb, who answers directly
to Ayling and whose function was previously handled by Ken Walder, who
left last summer.
BA appointed Brunswick earlier this year after a pitch against APCO UK,
Lawson Lucas Mendelsohn and GPC, overseen by parliamentary affairs
manager Jane Johnston (PR Week, 10 July 1998). GPC handled BA’s public
affairs before Brunswick.
BA used to employ Bell Pottinger Communications on a retainer but it is
now understood to use the agency for special projects.
- Former GPC managing director, Mike Craven this week launched his own
public affairs consultancy, Lexington Communications. Craven handled the
BA account while at GPC. Since leaving the firm in January he has worked
as the Labour Party’s chief media spokesman. He will head the agency,
which employs six people, jointly with his co-partner and former GPC
director Ian Kennedy.