Susie Sell
Sep 28, 2012

Malaysia Airlines settles global media account; selects IPG Mediabrands

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia Airlines has concluded its global media pitch, handing its planning and buying account to IPG Mediabrands.

Malaysia Airlines hands planning and buying to IPG Mediabrands
Malaysia Airlines hands planning and buying to IPG Mediabrands

The airline, which admitted last year that it was “in crisis”, called a pitch in July, as part of a mandatory review for government-linked firms.

Incumbent Starcom had held the account since 2009. It was issued RFI documents along with five other agencies, thought to include IPG Mediabrands, Havas, Carat, Group M and OMD, but it did not participate in the pitch.

As Malaysia Airlines' new global agency-of-record, IPG Mediabrands will handle the marketing channel planning and media buying across 22 markets. The two-year contract is effective from 1 October.

Malaysia Airlines said it was looking for an agency to help grow the brand, as it aims to compete in an increasingly crowded sector.

In December 2011, the airline launched its business plan, aimed at returning the airline to profitability following net losses of around US$390 million (RM1.2 billion).

“Airlines are a demanding business the world over and customers have changed much faster than most airlines…," said Dr. Hugh Dunleavy, director of commercial, Malaysia Airlines. "We needed an AOR partner to help us lead the customers, rather than follow them.” 

IPG Mediabrands said it will now work to create a contemporary brand experience that will aim to position the airline as “every bit worth the premium”.

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