- Gulf Air, the national carrier of Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Abu Dhabi, has appointed J Walter Thompson to handle its $20 million global advertising account.
JWT pitched against Ogilvy & Mather, Grey, WCRS and DDB. MindShare has been appointed to handle media on the business.
Michael Maedel, the president of JWT Europe, Africa and the Middle East, said: "This is an important and exciting win for us. Gulf Air is a growing and ambitious company, which is investing significantly in all areas of its business. The account will be based in our London office but will link into offices around our network.
Gulf Air's last campaign was through WCRS, but it has not advertised for nearly two years. London is the major hub for Gulf Air and the bulk of the spend will be in the UK. The airline has lost ground in recent years to Emirates Airline and the appointment of JWT is a signal that Gulf Air intends to re-establish its superiority in the market.
JWT is expected to recommend a global television commercial for its new client, backed by tactical regional spend on press and posters. Harry MacAuslan, deputy chairman of JWT, said: "Advertising is only the tip of the iceberg. This is the start of a new initiative for the whole company."
At the same time, JWT has also been appointed to handle the Coty Rimmel account world-wide. The agency won the £4 million UK business two years ago after a pitch against Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Ammirati Puris Lintas and Testa International. JWT's responsibilities for Rimmel across Europe have grown since then, culminating in the formal global appointment this week.