BAA, the London airports operator, is understood to have appointed Leo Burnett to work on a new project instead of using roster agencies Saatchi & Saatchi, St Luke’s and Delaney Lund Knox Warren.
It is not clear if the agency will earn a place on the roster as a result of winning this piece of business.
The appointment comes as BAA publishes its annual results. It reported slow growth in passenger numbers but an 8.1% leap in profits to &£710m. It attributed the growth to customers’ increasing use of airport shops and leisure facilities as they wait for flights. The company has already announced plans to invest &£9.5m on expanding and modernising Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted over the next ten years to capitalise on this consumer trend.
BAA has had a turbulent year due to a long-running hostile takeover bid by a consortium led by Spanish construction company Ferrovial. The Civil Aviation Authority warned the consortium on Tuesday that it would not be allowed to raise charges to airline customers to recoup the cost of its takeover.
Ferrovial, which has joined forces with GIC of Singapore and CDP of Canada in an &£8.8bn bid for BAA, is proposing to raise &£6.6bn of debt to help finance the takeover.
No one was available from BAA or Leo Burnett to comment as Marketing Week went to press.