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
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up to two weeks before it can be withdrawn.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
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
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.