United Airlines has appointed Wunderman Cato Johnson to handle its
dollars 57m (pounds 38m) international below-the-line account, with the
brief to give direct marketing activity a European focus.
The move follows the appointment in October of Wunderman Cato Johnson’s
sister agency, Young & Rubicam, as the airline’s international above-
Y&R’s appointment ended United’s 31-year relationship with Chicago-based
Leo Burnett, which created United’s strapline ‘Come fly the friendly
Under the new arrangement Wunderman Cato Johnson will handle all United
Airlines’ business outside the US. This officially ends United’s
relationship with Evans Hunt Scott, which was taken on in March to co
ordinate UK database marketing.
Wunderman Cato Johnson will be localising United’s direct marketing
activity to make it more relevant to a European audience. Currently, its
marketing activity uses American English and many of the offers and
incentives are linked to US cities and hotels.
‘We are making it more European,’ said Wunderman Cato Johnson’s managing
director John Shaw. ‘United Airlines has global aspirations, but often
it is seen only as an American airline.’
Wunderman Cato Johnson will launch activity to promote the introduction
of new routes next year. The majority of United’s direct marketing
focuses on its frequent flyer programme, Mileage Plus. The programme,
which is reputed to have tens of millions of members worldwide, is
available to all United passengers.
‘It is more than just selecting another agency,’ said Matthew Eastlake,
United Airlines’ UK marketing manager. ‘It is part of our global
development of the Mileage Plus scheme and this will form the backbone
of the work.’