American Airlines centralises into McCann

DDB has lost its American Airlines business following the airline's

centralisation of its international business into McCann-Erickson.



The consolidation is a cost-cutting exercise following the downturn in

air travel after last September's terrorist attacks in the US. The

airline spent £3 million through BMP DDB in the UK last year.



The US American Airlines account, which takes up the lion's share of the

budget, is handled by the long-term incumbent, the Texas-based agency

Temerlin McClain. The agency was aligned with McCann after IPG bought

its True North parent last year and now operates as Temerlin

McClain/McCann-Erickson.



The international business, which had previously been handled by the DDB

network in all markets outside the US, now moves into the McCann global

network.



BMP has produced some acclaimed work on the account. Its recent spot,

"seats", featured a series of vignettes in which airline seats were seen

in everyday surroundings, having been taken out of American Airline

planes to allow more room for passenger comfort. It won a variety of

awards including a silver at Cannes last year.



However, the agency has not run any new work for the business since the

11 September atrocity.



Demand for the mainstream airline brands has been dwindling, with many

reporting a slump in profits. Last December British Airways reported its

tenth consecutive month of declining passenger traffic.



The high-cost operators are losing valuable passengers to no-frills

airlines such as Go and EasyJet, which have reported rising profits.



American Airlines has suffered hugely after the terrorist attacks, and

its image took a further knock when one of its planes crashed into the

Queens borough of New York one month later.



BMP was unavailable to comment on the news.



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