3 Vying for Airlines’ Web Venture

Account Valued at $80 Mil. Over 18 Months
CHICAGO–Three agencies will pitch this week in a $50 million review for the Web-based travel site being developed by United, Delta, Northwest and Continental airlines.
J. Walter Thompson and FCB Worldwide, both Chicago, and TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York, are the finalists, sources said. The venture, due to launch in the second quarter, has not yet been named.
“We believe we have a superior consumer property, and we’re looking for an agency to help us in the positioning and brand identity,” said Ben Burnett, vice president at Boston Consulting Group’s Chicago office, the interim manager of the site. Burnett declined to name finalists.
Sources said the account is valued at $70-80 million over 18 months, with $50 million distributed in the first year. Burnett would say only that the consortium will spend at “significant levels.”
“We have lots of other ways to market besides using brute force media,” Burnett said.
The Web service will enable consumers to compare prices of travel services and purchase tickets for air travel. Along with the four major airlines developing the site, 23 additional carriers have signed on as secondary partners. –with staff report

Publish date: January 31, 2000 https://stage.adweek.com/brand-marketing/3-vying-airlines-web-venture-39390/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT