The account had been with Publicis Groupe's Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco. Billings on the account were undisclosed, but the carrier spent $9.4 million on measured media for 2001, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. The bulk of the spending was put toward print, with $1.4 million spent on TV advertising.
Last year, Riney
The airline itself has made somewhat of a comeback, emerging from bankruptcy in 1994. Lately, though, America West has struggled with the airline industry downturn, losing $147.9 million on revenue of $2.1 billion in 2001.
The loss is Riney's second this year, following the departure of its 12-year anchor client, General Motors Corp.'s Saturn Corp. Riney won the America West account in 1997.
Louis Moses, a principal in the shop, said the agency, with $50 million in billings, also handles tourism-related accounts such as the Arizona Office of Tourism, the Scottsdale Fairmont Princess Resort and Santa Monica, Calif.-based Shutters on the Beach Hotel, a recent client. Another key client is San Francisco-based apparel manufacturer Joe Boxer.
Mr. Moses said the agency and client have yet to determine a new marketing direction for the airline, but the agency's first ad, one comparing air fares, ran in Monday's USA Today.
Staff writer David Goetzl contributed to this report.