British Airways, desperate to lift its floundering share price,
this week begins a major programme to woo lucrative business-class
travellers with an ad campaign trumpeting its Club class revamp.
Throughout March, BA will plaster national press and outdoor sites with
a pounds 2.5m campaign. BA’s general manager of marketing services, Jill
Mannerton, said it was BA’s biggest ad burst in support of a product
The creative, by M&C Saatchi, claims BA is taking air travel for
businessmen into the 21st century, highlighting flat beds on long-haul
travel and superior scheduling on short-haul flights. TV ads will follow
over the next few months.
BA is spending a further pounds 1m mailing corporate customers,
Executive Club members and travel agents with literature on improvements
in Club World and Club Europe cabins. The mailing is being handled by
Tullo Marshall Warren, and Carlson.
The airline has also launched a micro web site called 21st Century. This
will be interactive, enabling customers to check whether cabins on their
flights have been refitted. If they have not, they will be e-mailed with
Paul Moore, head of PR at Virgin Atlantic, responded to the changes by
saying that BA was still trying to catch up with its premium class
’It will probably take BA another three years to refit their cabins,’ he
The revamp follows chief executive Bob Ayling’s decision last summer to
jettison lower-paying passengers and fill aircraft with premium-fare
customers to increase yields.
BA made a pounds 60m loss in the most recent quarter and analysts
project an annual loss of about pounds 260m. As Marketing went to press,
BA’s share price was 239p. A year ago, it stood at 438p.