American Airlines seeks shop for European CRM

LONDON - American Airlines is looking for an agency to handle its European customer relationship marketing business.

The airline is contacting agencies directly with a brief that centres on boosting online bookings.

American Airlines was hit hard by the attacks on the World Trade Center in September 2001. It has relied mainly on a newsletter, created in-house, to communicate with its customers.

However, last year it began to beef up its marketing activity, launching its biggest UK campaign since the attacks in an attempt to establish itself as the main airline for flights between the UK and the US.

The carrier enlisted the Sopranos star James Gandolfini to front the £5m campaign. Ads by McCann Erickson illustrated how the airline can cope with the most demanding passengers, and use the endline: "We fly more New Yorkers than any other airline. If we can keep them happy..."

American Airlines' rivals British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, dominate UK bookings for transatlantic travel, although fares on the US carrier can be cheaper.

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