The review follows the appointment in April of
Craig Maccubbin as Southwest's chief technology officer and Randy
Sloan in May as the company's chief information officer.
Southwest will focus on improving the consumer
booking experience through e-commerce and design, said one
executive. That means finding a partner with both back-end and
front-end digital strengths.
Another person close to the matter said the airline
may favor an agency with a presence near its Dallas headquarters.
However, being local had no bearing on the company's most recent
agency move last summer, when it looked beyond its 30-year creative
partner, Omnicom Group's
GSD&;M, to hire sibling
agency TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles for a fall ad
campaign. Texas-based GSD&;M -- also owned by Omnicom --
remains on Southwest's roster.
At the time, a Southwest spokeswoman told Ad Age:
"As our business grows and service footprint grows. ... We are
looking to add to the agency resources."
In 2012, Southwest Airlines spent $154.5 million on
domestic measured media for its AirTran and Southwest brands, down
from $249 million in 2011, according to Kantar. Dallas-based
Camelot Communications has supported the
airline's media business for a number of years.