Etihad ends ad deal with M&C Saatchi

It’s life in the trenches at M&C Saatchi these days and there’s been some more unwelcome news as United Arab Emirates carrier Etihad has ended its five year contract with the agency, reverting to digital and social agency Cheil and its in-house operation.

Etihad was handled out of M&C’s Abu Dhabi office and then the agency opened another in Dubai. M&C says its Gulf operation remains in being.

Airlines as a whole don’t seem too keen on advertising these days and Etihad may feel its marketing is adequately catered for in its humongously expensive investment in Manchester City where it ‘sponsors’ the stadium (below) at vast expense. New Man City manager Pep Gardiola is apparently looking for four new full backs (you can only play two at once Pep) at a cost of up to £100m, so that’s the next five-year ad budget gone.

None of which will be any consolation to M&C (which stands for Maurice and Charles as opposed to Manchester & City). Its international network has performed pretty well recently despite the travails of the London agency but big global accounts are hard to come by for anyone but the big holding companies.

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