BAA signs Saatchis, St Luke's and DLKW to creative list

LONDON - The airport operator BAA, which owns seven UK airports including Gatwick and Heathrow, has appointed St Luke's, Saatchi & Saatchi and its incumbent, Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, to handle its £3m creative account.

The three agencies pitched against a number of undisclosed shops for a place on the roster. BAA is currently making a decision on which will handle development of its first advertising campaign, planned for early summer.

BAA kicked off the review last October, which was overseen by its group marketing director, Barbara Beckett. It is understood the agencies have signed a three-year contract.

As well as DLKW, BAA has previously used Claydon Heeley Jones Mason and J Walter Thompson.

Its adoption of a creative roster follows a recent decision by BAA to add ZenithOptimedia to its media planning and buying roster, alongside the incumbent, Carat.

The appointment of ZenithOptimedia followed a competitive pitch that included Universal McCann and one other unnamed agency.

Previous advertising campaigns promoted BAA's shopping facilities. However, duty-free shopping has now disappeared for travellers within the European Union.

Airline travel has suffered in recent years following the 11 September terrorist attacks and continuing fears of attacks on airlines. Passengers also remain wary of unnecessary air travel with the fear of a war in Iraq and last month's massive security alert that involved the mobilisation of tanks and army personnel at Heathrow Airport.

BAA has contracts or stakes in 10 airports outside the UK, plus retail management contracts at two airports in the USA. It handles more than 200m passengers every year.

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