12 July 2015
Etihad Airways Partner (EAP) airlines Etihad Airways, Alitalia, Air Berlin and Jet Airways have announced that Starcom, part of Starcom Mediavest Group, has won the contract to become the airline group's new global media agency, following a joint tender sent to several leading agency networks.
Starcom was selected by EAP to deliver scaled benefits by aligning media spending power across key markets and to provide added value and centralised strategic advice and planning to meet the unique commercial needs of the airline grouping.
Shane O'Hare, Etihad Airways' Senior Vice President Marketing, said: "Starcom demonstrated that they fully understand the emerging media scene which has digital media at its core. Their highly experienced team, resources, planning tools and buying clout in all the key EAP markets gave them a clear edge in the tender.
"The depth of the relationships within the EAP allows us to go even further with our joint media strategy alignment, and will allow Starcom to maximise returns on our collective investment and to ensure that each unique brand experience is brought to life with optimum exposure on a global scale."
The appointment of Starcom will allow the EAP to benefit from a superior knowledge and skill base within one agency to service all partners with market and industry insights and to provide access to leading edge global thinking and proprietary technology with consistency across all partners.
Starcom will service the EAP airlines in key hubs in the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Italy and India, with central coordination from their EMEA head office in London.
Matt Blackborn, President, Investment and Diversification at Starcom Mediavest Group, said: "We are the foremost innovators in the precision media space and very much welcome this exciting challenge of working with the Etihad Airways Partner airlines across all their communications platforms.
"This is a unique client brief and relationship as it brings together multiple brands from the same industry and is ground-breaking in the agency world.
"We look forward to servicing Etihad Airways Partners through a unified approach that integrates connections, content, data and technology."
Andre Rahn, Senior Vice President of Marketing at airberlin, said: "airberlin is looking forward to reaching a new level in our EAP Partnership and manage the future of media buying within the group. With Starcom's worldwide digital experience and our group's airline experience, we plan to be a step ahead in reaching potential customers with the right content at the right point."
Ariodante Valeri, Alitalia's Chief Commercial Officer, said: "This new partnership kicks off at a very exciting time for Alitalia. We have just launched the new livery of Alitalia aircraft, the new design of the cabins and new premium services for our guests. Alitalia is rapidly increasing its global reach with new long-haul services between Italy and China, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates, areas of the world which are rapidly growing. In addition, the agreement with Starcom will bring significant synergies for the EAP, and will allow us to have better access to traditional and digital media in all of our key markets."
Gaurang Shetty, Senior Vice-President Commercial at Jet Airways said: "Starcom showed their ability to add value to our media investments and demonstrated their thorough understanding of the evolving media scenario. Starcom's solution was backed with data, insights and relevance to the brand's core values. We look forward to partnering with Starcom to develop synergies along with other Eithad Airways Partner airlines."
About Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways began operations in 2003, and in 2014 carried 14.8 million passengers. From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to 111 existing or announced passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of 116 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 200 aircraft on firm order, including 68 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s and seven Airbus A380s.
Etihad Airways holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Aer Lingus, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, and Swiss-based Darwin Airline, trading as Etihad Regional. Etihad Airways, along with airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Etihad Regional, Jet Airways and NIKI, also participate in Etihad Airways Partners, a new brand that brings together like-minded airlines to offer customers more choice through improved networks and schedules and enhanced frequent flyer benefits. For more information, please visit: www.etihad.com
About Starcom Mediavest Group
Starcom Mediavest Group architects connected human experiences to create value for our clients through precision marketing, content and technology solutions. Ranked the number one global network by Ad Age and RECMA, SMG partners with the world's leading marketers and more digital disruptor brands than any other agency network.
With 8,000 employees and 110 offices worldwide, SMG's network includes our three global agency brands Starcom, MediaVest and Spark; content brands LiquidThread, MRY and Relevant24; and ad tech units, RUN, Audience On Demand and more. In 2014, SMG (www.smvgroup.com) was named the top media network at Cannes, Eurobest, Dubai Lynx and Festival of Media Global. SMG is part of Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, CAC 40], one of the world's leading communications groups.
Starcom Mediavest Group: