American Airlines, the largest carrier in the US, has consolidated its $30m (&£21m) global advertising account into McCann-Erickson Worldwide. It has also consolidated its media buying into Universal McCann.
BMP DDB has held the advertising account in the UK for 17 years, while the airline first linked up with DDB in the US in 1961.
American Airlines has been under added pressure following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre’s Twin Towers and recently posted a &£1.25bn loss for 2001, compared with a $813m (&£569m) profit for 2000, and this is understood to have forced the advertising budget review.
Temer McClain, a US subsidiary of McCann-Erickson, will run the main creative business, and the work will be distributed through the McCann-Erickson network.
American Airlines spent &£2.95m on UK campaigns from October 2000 to September 2001 (AC Nielsen/MEAL). Earlier this month, the airline carried out a delayed promotional tie-up with The Guardian.
The company is in discussion with British Airways about a partnership deal, which has to be approved by the UK and US authorities before being given the go-ahead. Representatives from both governments are now in discussion about an “Open Skies” policy that would allow more transatlantic flights.