Saatchi and Saatchi in London was this week celebrating its role in
the Saatchi network’s capture of Delta Air Lines’ dollars 100 million
global advertising business, after a final shootout with Ammirati Puris
Lintas and Ogilvy and Mather in the US last week.
Saatchi London’s creative team - the art director, Ajab Singh, and the
copywriter, Dave Fowle - came up with the winning creative idea. The
pitch was fronted by London’s chairman, Alan Bishop, in conjunction with
its former chairman, Jennifer Laing.
The win gives the Saatchi network a much-needed replacement for the
pounds 60 million British Airways account, which followed Maurice
Saatchi into his new agency in 1995.
Delta is expected to spend around pounds 2 million in the UK market, a
budget which was previously handled by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. Zenith
Media, which also lost out when BA switched camps, will handle all media
buying on Delta.
BBDO agencies, led by BBDO South Atlanta, had been the incumbent on the
account for the past 51 years. However, the group pulled out of the
pitch at the last moment (Campaign, 14 March).
The remaining finalists were asked to develop a campaign for Delta’s
international business class. This project will kick off Saatchis’
tenure of the account, with ads set to go live over the next few
Bishop said he would be taking on extra people in the US and London work
on Delta, although exact numbers had yet to be finalised. He called the
win ’a testimony to the efforts of the entire Saatchi network’.
Delta’s review of its advertising account had been in progress for some
Rumours of a rift between agency and client reached a peak last summer
after BBDO’s Delta ’marathon’
campaign, on which the airline spent dollars 20 million during the
Olympics in its hometown of Atlanta.
The pitch may also have been precipitated by the incoming vice-president
of consumer marketing, Gayle Bock.