Qantas shortlists global creative and media agencies

Qantas has shortlisted four agencies for its global creative account, leaving lead ad agency M&C Saatchi out of the running, and has listed three candidate agencies for its global media account.

Qantus: airline names shortlisted creative and media agencies
Qantus: airline names shortlisted creative and media agencies

The Australian airline is still considering submissions by Droga5, Leo Burnett, Mojo Publicis, and BWM, reports Campaign Asia.

There was no place on the shortlist either for Ogilvy Australia, the incumbent on the airline's retail and digital activity.

The media-buying stream sees OMD, ZenithOptimedia, and MediaCom still competing. Qantas says other agencies are still being considered for specialist roles.

All has not been lost for the rejected incumbents. M&C Saatchi will continue to be the agency of record for Qantas Loyalty and will also work with the airline on new market development projects.

Ogilvy has been tapped to support the airline on a number of "key tactical and strategic" projects, Qantas said.

Rob Gurney, Qantas group executive manager, commercial, said the airline thanked all agencies who had participated in the first stage of the pitches.

He said: "We have been very impressed with the quality of the work, and it has been extremely challenging to narrow it down to the final shortlists.

"We are also pleased to continue working with our incumbents on key streams of work, given their experience on our business."

Tom Dery, worldwide chairman of M&C Saatchi, highlighted the network's long history with Qantas."We have had a long and successful partnership with Qantas and we are delighted this will continue with Qantas Frequent Flyer and through the sponsorship management and activation (projects assigned)," he said.

According to Qantas, the pitches will be concluded in time for new agencies to start work on the brand from April next year.

They are expected to face a tough task engaging audiences, given the airlines' continuing industrial strife.

Disputes between the company and key pilot and engineer unions have led to rolling strikes and work bans this year, culminating in an unprecedented temporary shutdown of the airline last month.

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