Bates Dorland has pulled out of the contest for the British Airport
Authority’s retail account, ending a ten-year relationship with the
The agency’s decision follows a protracted pitch process for the BAA
business which will now be contested by four as yet unnamed shops.
A letter announcing the agency’s decision was faxed on Tuesday evening
to Barbara Beckett, the BAA group marketing director, by Graham Hinton,
the chairman of Dorlands.
The agency says its withdrawal is because of what it believes will be a
’fundamentally different’ relationship between the BAA and the shop it
Hinton said: ’We’re not parting acrimoniously. Our decision is based on
what we consider to be hard commercial facts. We’ve enjoyed a terrific
relationship with the BAA but we’ve decided that it can’t continue.’
Senior managers at Dorlands are known to have been dismayed when the BAA
called a review of its account in March, only 17 months after the agency
had successfully repitched for it.
BAA, whose account billed up to pounds 6 million at its peak, has
restricted itself to low-key promotions this year. Pitching agencies
received a detailed brief only two weeks ago and there is speculation
that any new appointment will be on a project basis.
During its tenure of the business, Dorlands has promoted the BAA’s
duty-free business using TV, posters and national press. Its TV work
included the high-profile ’lady in red’ campaign as well as the ’when
you fly, use the airport’ theme that ran across the BAA’s advertising