Struggling Marketer Said to Be Considering Bankruptcy Protection

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Zenith Media is parting ways with United Airlines, said an executive at the media shop, which is jointly owned by Publicis Groupe and Cordiant Communications Group.

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.

Bankruptcy plan
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.

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