Middle East account action
Steve’s breakdown: We have two account reviews in this post. Both are in the middle east. One an airline and the other a telco.
ABU DHABI, USE: Etihad Airways is the process of reviewing its global creative and media accounts.
The account, which is worth an estimated $160 million, is being competed for by most of the big global advertising and media agency networks, with the review process already in full flow. Media presentations have taken place, with the creative side of the pitch taking place throughout November.
A spokesperson for Etihad confirmed the review was taking place but would not go into further details. “Etihad Airways has invited select global advertising and media agency networks to respond to a creative and media brief,” said the spokesperson. “Etihad Airways is not disclosing any details during this ongoing process.”
The airline is coordinating the review from its headquarters in Abu Dhabi. Owned by the Abu Dhabi government, the airline last reviewed the creative and media accounts in 2005. Following the joint review, the airline appointed TBWA to its ad business alongside its sister Omnicom agency OMD for media. Etihad’s global digital account, which was awarded to LBi in 2008, is not thought to be affected by the review.
The ad review follows massive investment by the airline in building its brand through sport tie-ups. Etihad, which launched in 2003, signed up in July as the main shirt sponsor of Manchester City Football Club, in a 10-year, $640 million deal. In January this year, the national carrier began rolling out a global marketing campaign called ‘Essential Abu Dhabi’. Designed to enhance Abu Dhabi’s reputation as a top tourist destination, the campaign has seen Etihad unveil a number of promotional activities across the globe throughout the year.
Kuwaiti telco Wataniya has called a review of its creative advertising account.
A handful of agencies are believed to be involved in the review, including incumbent Impact & Echo, which is part of the Dubai-based Impact BBDO Group. Impact & Echo has held the business for the past five years.
Last year Wataniya launched a new brand strategy with the tagline ‘We have a new spirit’, replacing the ‘It’s just getting started’ tagline it had used for the previous 10 years.