Etihad taps Cheil for global digital and social account

The announcement follows Starcom's win of global media planning and buying for the airline and its largest partners

Etihad taps Cheil for global digital and social account

Cheil has won the global digital and social marketing brief for the UAE’s national carrier Etihad following a competitive pitch.

The Seoul-based agency will be responsible for delivering Etihad’s strategy and creative in all digital and social channels and will also support the airline with performance-based marketing, analytics and reporting. The appointment does not affect DigitasLBi, which has been responsible for Etihad’s digital media strategy, search and affiliate marketing since 2012.

Cheil’s digital specialists The Barbarian Group will take primary responsibility for "driving best-in-class digital and social marketing for the airline."

The win follows the appointment earlier this month of Publicis Groupe-owned Starcom to the global media planning and buying account for Etihad and its three largest partner airlines, Alitalia, Air Berlin and Jet Airways earlier this month. The appointment of Cheil to the airline’s global digital account affects Etihad only and not its partner airlines.

"Digital is at the core of our marketing and Cheil’s strong global team demonstrated a perfect blend of creative ambition and strategic thinking, with ideas that reflected our brand values and personality, said Shane O’Hare, Etihad senior vice president of marketing. "They will also bring a high level of sophistication to our performance marketing through their analytical skills and understanding of the latest industry technology. That makes them the right agency partner for the next phase of Etihad Airways’ growth."

Lotta Malm Hallqvist, Cheil global vice president, added: "We want to work with innovative brands that are poised for global growth in the next decade. Etihad Airways is one of those brands. We look forward to elevating the airline to be the top digital and social brand in its category by delivering strategically informed, inspirational creative work."

This article first appeared on


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