October 11, 2008

EasyJet on the Hunt for Consumer Agency

Gemma O'Reilly and Kate Magee

EasyJet has drawn up a shortlist of three agencies as it prepares to hire its first external consumer PR support.

Beattie Communications, Paratus Communications and Trimedia have been shortlisted for the UK-wide account.

The agencies made the cut after a series of chemistry meetings last week. Pitches will now take place and a decision is expected next month.

EasyJet's in-house PR team will continue to handle the press office function, while the new agency will focus ontravel features, sponsorships, stunts and raising the airline's profile across the regions.

As part of the new arrangement, easyJet will dispense with the services of Scottish agency Profile Plus, which wasbrought on board to drive awareness of the airline's flights in Scotland (PRWeek, 14 May). Its 12-month contractwill be terminated after the new agency is appointed.

Separately, Virgin Atlantic has entered phase two of a campaign against the proposed merger of British Airways andAmerican Airlines.

A 'Monster Monopoly' website launched this week outlines the reasons Virgin Atlantic believes the mergerwould be a bad thing for consumers.

It also urges consumers to write letters of complaint to the European Commission and the US Department ofTransportation.

Virgin's in-house team, led by director of comms Paul Charles, will target the national business pages alongsidetravel trade press.

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