DDB has lost its American Airlines business following the airline's
centralisation of its international business into McCann-Erickson.
The consolidation is a cost-cutting exercise following the downturn in
air travel after last September's terrorist attacks in the US. The
airline spent £3 million through BMP DDB in the UK last year.
The US American Airlines account, which takes up the lion's share of the
budget, is handled by the long-term incumbent, the Texas-based agency
Temerlin McClain. The agency was aligned with McCann after IPG bought
its True North parent last year and now operates as Temerlin
The international business, which had previously been handled by the DDB
network in all markets outside the US, now moves into the McCann global
BMP has produced some acclaimed work on the account. Its recent spot,
"seats", featured a series of vignettes in which airline seats were seen
in everyday surroundings, having been taken out of American Airline
planes to allow more room for passenger comfort. It won a variety of
awards including a silver at Cannes last year.
However, the agency has not run any new work for the business since the
11 September atrocity.
Demand for the mainstream airline brands has been dwindling, with many
reporting a slump in profits. Last December British Airways reported its
tenth consecutive month of declining passenger traffic.
The high-cost operators are losing valuable passengers to no-frills
airlines such as Go and EasyJet, which have reported rising profits.
American Airlines has suffered hugely after the terrorist attacks, and
its image took a further knock when one of its planes crashed into the
Queens borough of New York one month later.
BMP was unavailable to comment on the news.