The Online Travel Portal, a venture backed by nine major airlines,
has reopened talks with London agencies despite the appointment of BMP
DDB to its pounds 30 million pan-European account last December.
BMP, which handles advertising for American Airlines, is expected to
repitch for the business along with a number of undisclosed
The move is believed to have been initiated by Nicolas de Santis, who
was appointed marketing director in February from his position as chief
marketing officer at the digital currency provider Beenz.
Other agencies have been approached by de Santis, who, sources say, is
keen to make his own decision now that he is in control of marketing on
the business. However, de Santis denied that he had reopened talks with
The company has yet to appoint a media agency for the business.
The airlines involved in the venture are British Airways, Air France,
Alitalia, Aer Lingus, KLM, Finnair, Lufthansa, Iberia and Austrian
The portal is expected to be renamed in the near future. Wolff Olins was
appointed to develop the company's brand identity last year.
The portal, which is scheduled to launch in about eight months, will
sell travel-related products and services over the internet. It will aim
to give the consumer access to a wide inventory of airline details
across a range of airlines, including those outside the portfolio of
As the marketing director of the portal, de Santis will focus on the
brand strategy and marketing for the website's projected launch in nine
European countries. He joined Beenz in 1999 from the branding group
Twelve Stars, of which he was the president.