Bates faces fight to keep 3.5m BAA

Airports owner and operator BAA has put its 3.5m advertising account, held by Bates Dorland, up for review.

Bates Dorland has held the account for nine years and has been invited to repitch alongside a number of other agencies. BAA says only those agencies invited to pitch will be considered.

The advertising concentrates on BAA’s duty and tax-free outlets and the company says its aims to make an appointment early next month.

BAA is broadening its approach to the travel industry – it now owns the Heathrow Express project which aims to link central London to the airport in a 16-minute journey. It wants to extend the line through Heathrow’s proposed Terminal 5 and onto the West of England.

It is reportedly planning to develop an industrial site in Hampshire to create a 30m pleasure centre.

The company handled a monthly record of 9.7 million passengers in July, an increase of 1.3 per cent over the same month last year.

Stansted was the fastest growing airport, increasing passenger numbers by 17 per cent to 503,000. Edinburgh was second with a 12 per cent rise.

BAA has said that the recent Monopolies & Mergers report on airport landing charges had created a challenging environment for the company. The report backed the monoploy structure in South-east England but introduced a tougher price cap.

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