Leo Burnett’s London office has played down the impact of the loss of
one of the network’s longest-held accounts - United Airlines.
The Chicago-based airline, which has been with Burnetts for 31 years,
last week awarded its dollars 120 million global advertising account to
the Minneapolis-based creative heavyweight, Fallon McElligott, in
conjunction with Young and Rubicam.
Nick Brien, Burnetts’ managing director in the UK, insisted: ‘Our new-
business wins, such as Nintendo, Oriental Express and Butlins, have more
than made up for the loss of United.’
Nevertheless, the loss of United, which spends pounds 2.5 million above
the line in the UK, is the second blow to Burnetts’ London office this
month. Two weeks ago, London was obliged to resign its prestigious
pounds 8.5 million Mercedes business because of conflicts with Fiat - a
network client outside the UK.
Y&R and Fallon McElligott have not yet finalised details about how the
relationship on United’s account will operate, although Fallon
McElligott is expected to focus mainly on North America, with Y&R
handling the rest of the world.
Y&R or its joint venture with Euro RSCG, Mediapolis, will buy all media,
while both Fallon McElligott and Y&R will handle media planning. In the
UK, Mediapolis is tipped to take the media buying task.
United, which recently completed a management buyout, decided on a
review in September. After an initial round, four agencies were
selected: TBWA/Chiat Day, Burnetts and the eventual winners.
In the second round, agencies were asked to bring to life United’s new
customer satisfaction philosophy.
In a statement, United said Fallon McElligott and Y&R were chosen
because of their ‘incredible strategic insights and creativity, clout,
superlative experience and international expertise’.