Delta Puts Marketing Account in Play

Airline Is Revamping Advertising Following Merger With Northwest

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Delta Air Lines is talking to ad agencies to help it revamp its marketing efforts following its $3 billion merger with Northwest Airlines, according to several industry executives.

Delta Air Lines spent $61 million on U.S. measured media between January and November last year.
Delta Air Lines spent $61 million on U.S. measured media between January and November last year.
The incumbent, Publicis Groupe's Digitas, with resources from sibling Saatchi & Saatchi; Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide; WPP's Ogilvy & Mather; Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch; and independent Wieden & Kennedy are among the shops taking part in the account review, according to thos executives.

Agency representatives referred calls to the marketer or declined to comment. The airline did not return calls for comment at press time.

Delta Air Lines spent $61 million on U.S. measured media between January and November last year, while spending for Northwest Airlines was only $10 million during the same time frame, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

The shops started presenting to the airline this past week, one executive close to the situation said. "Making a decision sooner would be better than later because the merger is going a lot faster than anyone had anticipated," the executive said.

When the two airlines merged last October, Northwest became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delta. The marketer wasted no time communicating its rebranding plan to customers, as the company continues the integration over the next year.

Among other things, Delta is busy introducing elements of its brand throughout the Northwest system on everything from uniforms to cocktails; launching a consolidated worldwide flight schedule for summer 2009; and combining the Delta and Northwest loyalty programs, SkyMiles and WorldPerks.

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Contributing: Michael Bush

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