British Airways is understood to be considering a new corporate identity and livery, and design consultancy Newell & Sorrell is tipped to handle the multimillion pound task.
The move comes amid growing concerns within the airline’s marketing department that its network of regional alliances is threatening the core identity. However, the design company will first need to convince BA chief executive Robert Ayling of the necessity of the Herculean task, which could cost up to 100m.
It is believed that Newell & Sorrell’s first task will be to review the BA identity, and how it could be used by various BA partners, such as Qantas or USAir.
But a BA insider points out that the possibility of a takeover battle for USAir, in which BA holds a 24.6 per cent stake, could alter the entire global alliance structure.
The source says: “When the alliances started, there were many attempts to bring the design identities together.”
Newell & Sorrell will at very least become the airline’s lead design consultancy, replacing Landor Associates, the US-based corporate identity specialist which created BA’s present identity in 1984.
The appointment follows a paid-for pitch against Landor, Sampson Tyrrell and Cato Design, an Australian consultancy. The four agencies were extensively briefed by a senior BA team, headed by Derek Dear, the airline’s general manager for marketing communications.
A spokeswoman says: “There are no immediate plans to change the corporate identity.”