BA launches £10m Euro assault on budget airlines

British Airways is spending £10m on a European advertising campaign in a bid to win back business from the no-frills airlines, such as easyJet and Ryanair.

The campaign, devised by M&C Saatchi, is the airline’s biggest European campaign. Last year it spent £3m advertising in Europe.

BA will use outdoor, underground travel networks and press advertising branded with the message: “London is closer than you think.”

The campaign launches in Paris, Stockholm, Milan, Cologne and Dusseldorf this week and will be rolled out to more than 20 European markets by Christmas. The campaign uses traditional aspects of London life. For instance, talking outdoor poster sites will give off the sound of the hustle and bustle of the capital’s streets, and a 30-metre high red telephone box is being built in Paris. The airline is also rebranding Metro International’s free Metro newspaper as the London Morning News in each of the launch cities for five days.

BA is battling to restore its image following the check-in staff strike in July, and there are rumours of another strike by flight engineers. BA’s rivals KLM and Air France are also in talks about forming a stronger alliance.

BA European marketing manager Karin Wickberg says: “The London route is one of the most competitive air routes in the world with no-frills carriers and national carriers all fighting for position. It is therefore vital for us to do something radically different to grab consumers’ attention.”

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