BAA reviews work ahead of consumer blitz

Airport operator BAA is reviewing its advertising and media planning and buying accounts in preparation for a mass-market campaign next summer.

BAA, which manages seven airports including Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, only spent &£730,000 on advertising in the year to September 2002 (Nielsen Media Services), but it is expected to invest more in advertising as confidence returns to the travel sector.

The company has a roster of three advertising agencies – Claydon Heeley Jones Mason, Delaney Lund Knox Warren and J Walter Thompson – while Carat handles media. The review will be overseen by group marketing director Barbara Beckett.

BAA reported a six per cent drop in pre-tax profits to &£143m for the three months to the end of June, compared with the previous year. BAA blamed the fall in profits on a drop in passenger numbers and increased insurance and security costs as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Its retail income rose four per cent to &£3.96 a passenger during the same period.

But last week BAA reported a rise in September passenger traffic of 8.1 per cent, compared with the same month in 2001. The seven airports had 12.1 million passengers passing through their terminals.

The operator has contracted the National Magazine Company to produce a new magazine for its frequent flyers. Called Emporium, it will replace Worldpoints, which was created as part of BAA’s retail loyalty programme and published by Axon.

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