NEWS: BA confirms M&C Saatchi’s position

British Airways this week put an end to speculation that its pounds 60 million global account is to be reviewed out of M&C Saatchi by declaring it was not talking to any other agencies.

British Airways this week put an end to speculation that its pounds 60

million global account is to be reviewed out of M&C Saatchi by declaring

it was not talking to any other agencies.



The matter is to be resolved at a meeting, to take place shortly,

between the agency and senior BA executives led by Derek Dear, the

general manager for marketing communications, where M&C Saatchi’s work

over the last year will be assessed.



BA insists the meeting is not a review. ‘We’re very pleased with M&C

Saatchi’s work and we are not talking to any other agencies,’ a senior

BA executive said.



The BA source said the formal announcement to confirm that BA is to stay

with the agency will contain ‘no surprises’. This scuttles suggestions

that Bartle Bogle Hegarty is to secure some BA business, having come

close to winning the account at last year’s pitch.



However, speculation is growing that BA could be seeking a new home for

its Air Miles business, which has split with BST-BDDP following its

pounds 5 million Le Shuttle win (Campaign, 5 April).



BA is thought to be ready to develop its Air Miles account, which has

been dormant for the past six months.



However, Judith Robinson, the Air Miles marketing director, insisted

that there are no plans to reactivate the account, which BST has not

worked on since it completed a project in the middle of last year.



Robinson claimed that Air Miles, which spent pounds 800,000 in 1995,

mostly on business-to-business ads, was not looking for an agency. ‘Our

plans are in formulation,’ she commented.



BA’s indication that the main account will not move will cheer managers

at M&C Saatchi, who have been growing increasingly angry at what they

believe have been concerted attempts from within the industry to

destabilise the business.



The whispering campaign had reached a deafening intensity in the run-up

to the official expiry of BA’s contract with M&C Saatchi on 15 May.