Maher Bird bags Malaysia Airlines UK business

Malaysia Airlines, one of South-East Asia’s biggest airlines, is poised to appoint Maher Bird Associates (MBA) to handle its &£1m UK advertising account.

A lengthy pitch for the business, held by DDA, began last July (MW July 1, 2004). Marketing manager Martin Braisby has led the review from the UK and the final decision is expected imminently from Malaysia Airlines’ head office in Kuala Lumpur.

MBA’s brief will be to create local advertising for the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands. The airline’s global advertising will continue to be handled by Leo Burnett. A review of the UK media business, held by Acumen Partnership, is also under way.

Malaysia Airlines flies out of Heathrow and Manchester and is making a concerted push to attract more business this year, with orders for several dozen new aircraft. It is also introducing flat beds in its business class category.

It is looking to join one of the global airline alliances and is considering Oneworld or Skyteam. The Star Alliance is not open to it, because competitors Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways are members.

Like all airlines, Malaysia Airlines is suffering from the rise in fuel prices and is also under pressure from regional low-cost carriers. However, it posted a small profit of $7m (&£3.75m) for its first quarter, which ran to June 2004.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here