Arvind Hickman
Nov 14, 2021

Havas lands media partnership for IAG airlines

The win includes Spanish airlines Iberia and Vueling.

Havas Media Group will handle media planning and buying for Iberia Airlines. Photo: Getty Images
Havas Media Group will handle media planning and buying for Iberia Airlines. Photo: Getty Images

The International Airlines Group (IAG) has hired Havas Media to partner four of its airlines.

Havas was chosen as part of wider IAG review that saw Omnicom Media Group pick up the British Airways media account from WPP.

Havas will handle global media planning and buying for Iberia, the largest airline in Spain, the low cost carriers Vueling and LEVEL, and IAG Cargo from 22 March. Carat and WPP had previously worked with IAG on the accounts.

Havas Media Group said it would provide the four IAG brands “a tailored solution and will drive brand value through all the disciplines and channels, thanks to a data, insights and ROI measuring approach”.

“We look forward to working with Iberia, Vueling and LEVEL brands, as well as IAG Cargo to create a media strategy that delivers meaningful media experiences and accelerates brand growth,” Havas Media Group global CEO Peter Mears said. “This assignment offers further validation of the strength of our network, our Meaningful Media proposition and industry-leading talent.”  

An IAG spokesperson said: “The functions of our marketing departments have evolved. The pandemic impact has further accelerated some changes that we’re seeing, both in our operations and in our prospects. 

“These changes mean that we have to amplify our requirements when selecting the media agency in order to address present and future needs. We believe that Havas Media Group is the best partner in the journey that we start right now. We also want to thank Carat and WPP, our previous agencies, for their contribution to our growth in the last years.”

Like most of the aviation industry, IAG airlines have endured a torrid past 18 months due to Covid lockdown restrictions and border controls.

In the first three quarters of 2021, Iberia carried 6.7 million passengers, which is 60% down on 2019 figures when air travel was unrestricted. This compares favourably to IAG stablemate British Airways, which carried 5.2 million passengers and is 86% down on usual passenger volumes.

Vueling is 61% down and LEVEL – which has shut down its operations in Austria, Netherlands and France – is 95% down on passengers. IAG’s other airline, Aer Lingus, was down 89% as Covid impacted Irish travel more than Europe.

The group’s Q3 figures show signs of improvement, but media and advertising partners will have an important role to play helping drive up numbers as borders gradually reopen and air travel takes off.

Campaign UK

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