Air France to build global brand with new ads from $45m review

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PARIS -- Air France, the state-owned French airline, will shift from product and service-oriented advertising to a corporate brand-building campaign in the first work from its new agency.

The Paris-based operation will decide the outcome of a four-horse pitch for its $45m global ad account mid-May at the earliest. First work from the selected agency is not expected until September.

The Paris offices of incumbent Euro RSCG, Ammirati Puris Lintas, Ogilvy & Mather, Saatchi & Saatchi and Audour Soum Larue were shortlisted last month. The latter held the account for Air Inter, which is now part of Air France and rebranded Air France Europe. However, Saatchi withdrew after winning the $100m global account for U.S. Delta Air Lines.

Air France, which rebounded from near-bankruptcy to post its first profits in five years, will use the same agency for all its ads across the world in its bid to establish its credibility as a durable brand. Previously, Euro RSCG Paris held the global account, but the airline also used local agencies in each market.

Its most recent ad tactic has been to focus on its service and recent innovations.

Copyright April 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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