OMD tipped to win $20m Qantas media pitch

Qantas-234x86Omnicom media agency OMD appears set to pick up the majority of the media buying for national airline Qantas, Mumbrella understands.

It is thought the formal announcement will be made early next week, with the decision coming after a competitive pitch which earlier this week saw incumbent ZenithOptimedia informed that it would lose the domestic marketing component of the account, which is thought to represent around two thirds of the airline’s $20m media spend.

A spokeswoman for Qantas today would not confirm if there was a decision but said they were “working through the final stages”. OMD declined to comment.

The pitch comes after a four month process which saw a shortlist of incumbent ZenithOptimedia, OMD, Maxus and independent Bohemia face-off for the high profile media account.

At the time that the pitch emerged, the airline said it would aim to complete the process by the end of year.

Back in November Qantas group executive brand, marketing and corporate affairs Olivia Wirth told Mumbrella the digital component would be an important part of the pitch.

“We are currently going through the process and there should be a decision by the end of the year,” said Wirth. “It’s the right thing to go into the marketplace.

“The media industry is changing significantly so this is about testing the market to make sure we have the right agency with the right skills. Obviously digital play is more important, and the whole way you bid for media now is changing, it’s very dynamic so all those things are being considered.”

OMD came close to winning the account in 2012 ending up in a two way face-off with ZenithOptimedia over the business.

2014 has seen OMD pick up brands Helloworld, Pacific Brands and RACV while earlier this week it also retained the $14m Dulux business after a competitive pitch.

According to Nielsen, in the 12 months to August Qantas spent a total of $34.5m on advertising however, this figure includes the $15m by Jetstar leaving the value of the Qantas media account at just under $20m. Jetstar’s media buying is expected to remain with Maxus.

Nic Christensen 


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