Saatchi & Saatchi has won the 75m global account for US airline Delta.
The agency beat Ogilvy & Mather and Ammirati Puris Lintas in the final pitches late last week. BBDO, which had held the account for 51 years, was shortlisted by the airline but withdrew from the pitch process two weeks ago.
Delta chairman, president and chief executive Ronald Allen says the role of the agency will be to help the airline become “the worldwide airline of choice”.
Allen says: “Delta is entering the most dynamic time in the history of the company, and we require a strong agency partner as we move forward with our global strategy.”
Delta faces a considerable task as potential for growth within the US market is limited. It will have to work hard to build brand recognition on the lucrative transatlantic routes, facing competition from British Airways and American Airlines.
Saatchi must also work fast to come up with a creative treatment as advertising space on US television has already been booked for the next three months.
The account will be run from the agency’s New York office with London’s Charlotte Street office co-ordinating the European business.
Saatchi & Saatchi has wanted an airline on its roster ever since British Airways moved its 57m account to M&C Saatchi in 1995.