EasyJet switches ad account to Publicis

EasyJet, the low-cost airline, has appointed Publicis to its roster, with a brief to work on its integrated account across Europe, including the £15 million UK advertising business.

The news will come as a blow to Ogilvy Group, which was hired to handle the £50 million pan-European account in May 2006 after a protracted review process. During that review, easyJet held a pitch at the end of 2005 only to scrap it at the final stages and start again with a new brief.

Publicis has previously handled work for the German market out of its Berlin office, but this remit has now been extended to include activity in other markets.

The appointment of Publicis is expected to involve Publicis in London playing a key role on the business alongside its German sister agency.

Paul Simmons, the head of brand marketing, product and distribution at easyJet, confirmed that Publicis will now work with easyJet outside of Germany. He added: "Ogilvy will continue to be a roster agency, this is not a major change in strategy."

However, sources questioned whether there is a role for two networks working for a company of easyJet's size.

Media planning and buying, which is handled by OMD, is unaffected.

Both Publicis and Ogilvy declined to comment.