SAA reviews its worldwide ad account

South African Airways (SAA) has called a review of its global advertising account following a decision to handle the account on a market-by-market basis.

The decision marks a return to the system the airline used until 1995, when it centralised its worldwide business at Leo Burnett.

The airline, owned by the government operated Transnet, is intending to spend more than 1m on its UK advertising. The ads will focus on the airline’s premium class.

SAA is talking to six agencies in the UK, but declined to name them. Burnett is not pitching for the business. The brief is for above-the-line advertising, direct marketing and media planning and buying. Pitches are scheduled for next week.

A spokesman for SAA says: “The reason we have decided to use local agencies is because markets vary from region to region.” He says the London to South Africa routes, particularly to Johannesburg, are the airline’s busiest, and so the appointment of a UK agency is crucial.

The account in South Africa, worth about 3m, was awarded to TBWA Hunt Lascaris last November after a six-way pitch.

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