Debonair campaign pulled as troubled airline is grounded

New advertising for Debonair had to be pulled in a hurry last week as the cut-price airline collapsed with pounds 36 million worth of debts.

New advertising for Debonair had to be pulled in a hurry last week

as the cut-price airline collapsed with pounds 36 million worth of

debts.



Debonair was put in receivership on the day that da Costa & Co’s debut

work was due to break, forcing the agency to cancel a national press

initiative scheduled to begin later this month.



But the airline’s collapse came too late to halt the new advertising

appearing in London’s tube trains. This may have to remain in place for

up to two weeks before it can be withdrawn.



Da Costa & Co, which was awarded the creative assignment on the pounds

1.6 million account after a four-way pitch only three months ago, had

been working on a campaign which was to have resulted in Franco

Mancassola, Debonair’s founder and chairman, returning to front its

advertising.



Nick Sennett, da Costa & Co’s managing partner, said: ’It’s very

disappointing but we are not too badly affected by the collapse. The

only investment in it so far has been our time.’



The agency had been warned several days before the collapse that

Debonair was having problems meeting its bills but Sennett said that

discussions about the new campaign had taken place with marketing

executives only the day before its shares were suspended and its planes

grounded.



Airline industry experts blame Debonair’s failure on its attempts to

promote itself as a low-cost carrier offering premium services and on

its decision to use expensive primary airports, leaving it with a cost

base 20 per cent higher than its rivals.



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