BBH survives British Airways review to handle autumn brand relaunch

I didn’t know British Airways, now part of International Airlines Group with Iberia, had been reviewing its account but that seems to be the implication of this report in Marketing.

It’s not so surprising really as BA has found advertising almost impossible to produce since feisty Irishman Willie Walsh took over as CEO, a move that more or less coincided with Bartle Bogle Hegarty winning the account from M&C Saatchi which had enjoyed a long relationship with the BA ancien regime.

Under Walsh there has been a permanently revolving door in the marketing department, the latest to leave being Kerris Bright who’s off to Ideal Standard.

But Bright, loyal to the last, promises “an interesting and challenging campaign” from BBH in September.

BA has been bedevilled by cabin crew strikes (mostly it’s own fault) and other misfortunes such as the Iceland dust cloud. But other airlines have managed to promote themselves through the latter; BA’s problems seem to run deeper with fundamental disagreements over what exactly the airline is and should stand for.

No such doubts afflicted the airline at M&C (and before that Saatchis). It was “the world’s favourite airline,” the one which flew the population of Manhattan across the Atlantic every week.

BA says it’s researching everything including staff attitudes (they want their travel perks back Willie) prior to launching on the airwaves.

They do make a meal of these things sometimes, don’t they?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.