Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) has won the protracted and controversial pitch for easyJet’s &£50m pan-European advertising business, beating Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners. The decision will be followed by a potential media pitch.
O&M was invited to re-pitch for the business in January when the airline decided to reconsider its agency search, leaving the WPP shop and Publicis-owned Saatchi & Saatchi angry after reaching a two-way contest (MW January 26).
Before the pitch was originally called last summer, all advertising was created in house.
At the time that easyJet called off its pitch, its commercial director Saad Hammad told Marketing Week he had decided to scrap the idea of appointing a central pan-European agency in favour of gathering a roster of “creative hot houses” across a number of markets and a lead agency to develop a consistent look for the advertising.
Hammad believed the new plan would allow the company – which operates from 68 airports in 18 countries – to react more quickly to changes in local markets.
But David Meliveo, departing marketing manager who has led the current pitch, says: “Ogilvy & Mather is to be our first and sole pan-European agency, will work with our in-house team and take care of all idea generation and strategy”. Meliveo denies there has been another change of mind and says the strategy was always to have a single agency.
The airline is also in the middle of re-negotiating its three-year media planning and buying contract with OMD, which comes to an end next week. Terms are yet to be agreed and though Meliveo confirms that no other agency is being considered at this point, he says: “If we don’t come to an agreement with OMD, it is possible that other agencies may become involved.”