United reduced its measured media ad spending, to $57.3 million last year from $78.4 million in 2000, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.
United today said it faces a Dec. 2 deadline to overhaul the company to avoid filing for bankruptcy protection. The airline said it hopes to receive a $1.8 billion federal loan by then. The December date is tied to a $375 million debt payment due on that date.
In a news report in Wednesday's Chicago Tribune, Bcom3 Group's Starcom Mediavest Group was expected to pick up the airline's media account. The shop, however, currently buys media for Delta Air Lines.
A representative at Starcom could not be reached for comment. An executive close to the account said Publicis' Fallon Worldwide will continue to do media planning and creative work for United.