Alitalia talks to agencies over pan-European ad creative

The Italian national airline carrier, Alitalia, is talking to agencies about its pan-European above-the-line creative advertising account.

It is holding talks with a number of undisclosed agencies, but the airline has not yet drawn up a shortlist or made formal plans to hold a creative pitch.

The above-the-line creative review follows a wider marketing and advertising rethink.

In February last year, Alitalia appointed the consultancy FutureBrand to overhaul its brand in a bid to reverse a downturn in passenger numbers, which had struck the airline during 2001.

The brand review came a month after the airline had conducted a pitch for its digital creative and website design business.

FutureBrand's brief is understood to have focused on how the airline can leverage its Italian roots, and also looked at Alitalia's visual identity.

The rebranding exercise by Alitalia, which faces fierce competition on routes to London from the likes of British Airways, reflects a trend among airlines to seek advice on positioning in a difficult market post-11 September.

In October, Alitalia launched its first radio campaign since 1994 across Heart FM, Virgin FM, Magic FM and ITN News Direct. The ten- and 30-second executions use the "go out with an Italian" theme used in its press ads.

Creative is by Elliott Borra Perlmutter with planning and buying by MediaCom.

Alitalia is also a shareholder in the joint venture online travel company Opodo, alongside Aer Lingus, Air France, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, KLM and Lufthansa.