Omnicom beats Havas to land British Airways global media account

The airline recently appointed Uncommon as its new creative agency.

British Airways: awards media business to Omnicom (credit: Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
British Airways: awards media business to Omnicom (credit: Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Omnicom has landed British Airways’ media planning and buying business, concluding a review process that kicked off back in January 2021.

Omnicom Media Group – which will also handle paid and organic search and other performance marketing channels, including affiliates and meta-search partnerships – will take over the account from WPP, which has handled the airlines’ creative, media, social and paid-search account since 2017.

International Airlines Group, which owns BA, kicked off the review in January. WPP fell out of the race, with a final lap involving Omnicom and Havas.

Last week, Campaign revealed that Uncommon Creative Studio had won the airline’s advertising and CRM business, which it will begin next February.

A bespoke Omnicom Media Group team will be set up to work with British Airways from next March.

The airline said the new structure will “enable British Airways to maximise its growth strategy, adopting Omnicom’s global network, effectiveness planning framework and a digital-first approach”.

Alongside British Airways, Omnicom will also work on the loyalty scheme of its parent company IAG. 

“Throughout the pitch, we were impressed with Omnicom’s industry leading strategic and technological capabilities, digital first approach and strong focus on effectiveness,” British Airways director of brand and customer experience Tom Stevens said.

“We look forward to working with Omnicom’s highly talented teams globally as we emerge from the pandemic and look ahead to our future. I’d like to thank WPP for the successful partnership over the last few years as we transition to the new operating model.”

Omnicom Media Group’s chief executive Florian Adamski added: “We are very proud to have been selected as the global media partner for British Airways. 

"This was an opportunity to create a flexible agency model for British Airways powered by Omnicom Media Group’s breadth of talent and Omni, Omnicom’s industry-leading open operating system, orchestrating better outcomes for our clients.”

For Omnicom, British Airways off a strong recent run of large global media wins, including Chanel and Mercedes-Benz.

The group also works with HM Government, John Lewis and Virgin Media.

Omnicom Media Group agencies Manning Gottlieb OMD and PHD cleaned up at the recent Media Week Awards.

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