The Week: BA puts digital brief for premium service up for pitch

British Airways is putting the digital account for its premium airline, to launch next year, up for pitch.

Agency.com, BA's incumbent digital agency, declined the chance to work on the business, citing a full workload. The winning agency will be briefed with developing an e-commerce website for the service that goes by the title Project Lauren.

Agency.com has handled the BA digital account since 1996 via itraffic, which it bought in 1999 and later merged into the agency.

The account has long been courted by rival digital agencies, particularly since 2004's departure of Jon Sharpe, Ethan Segal and Matt Gorzkowski, who were close to the business before they left Agency.com to set up Play, a joint venture with M&C Saatchi.

The new airline, which will be a business and first class-only offering, will operate between Europe and the US. However, industry insiders suggest it will struggle to find slots at New York's heavily congested JFK airport.