NEWS: BAA lists ten shops to compete for pounds 3m airports retail task

Ten agencies have been earmarked to present credentials to the airports owner and operator, BAA, following its decision to put the authority’s pounds 3 million retail account up for review.

Ten agencies have been earmarked to present credentials to the airports

owner and operator, BAA, following its decision to put the authority’s

pounds 3 million retail account up for review.



BAA would not disclose details of the ten agencies, except to confirm

that the list included its incumbents of nine years, Bates Dorland and

Zenith Media. The list will be whittled down to a shortlist of four

agencies by the end of the month. Each of these will be asked to make

creative, strategic and media presentations before BAA’s marketing

director, Claire Hewitt, as well as its advertising manager, John

Landon, and two other executives. A decision is expected by the end of

October.



Elaine Booth, BAA’s consumer communications manager, explained a

statutory review had been invoked after nine years for a number of

reasons, none to do with Dorlands’ performance. It was policy to review

accounts with all BAA’s business partners, she said, and the BAA was

obliged to look outside in order to comply with European Union

procurement directives.



Revenue from the tax- and duty-free shops at UK airports increased by

88.5 per cent in the last financial year, bringing pounds 177 million

into the BAA’s coffers.



BAA has an upmarket customer profile. Around 90 per cent of Heathrow

customers fall into the ABC1 socio-economic group, according to Booth.

She said 50 per cent of BAA’s customers were in the A or B demographic.



However, a cloud hangs over the sector’s future in the light of plans by

the EU to scrap duty- and tax-free shopping within its boundaries by

1999. Passengers from EU countries bring in roughly half of BAA’s duty-

free revenues at the moment.



Graham Hinton, the chairman of Dorlands, confirmed the review and said

that the agency would hotly contest the account.



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