Emirates’ Dh1bn ad spend up for grabs

(CHANDRA BALAN)   

Emirates airline is poised to trigger a scramble for a slice of its huge advertising and communication budget as it undertakes a review of its current media agencies.
 

The carrier uses about 115 agencies around the world that are responsible for its media advertising production and buying.

Emirates Business has learned the company wants to reduce that figure, leaving the victors a greater share of the spoils.


The chosen agencies – the exact number has not been revealed – could include current or new agencies, who will put together proposals before a decision is made. A presentation will be held in the UK next year. The airline spends 3.6 per cent of its annual revenue on corporate communication. Last year’s revenue, according to its report, was Dh29.8bn, which means Dh1.07bn was spent on communication in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007.

Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice-President of Corporate Communication Mike Simon said: “We maintain a large panel of media agencies that have their strengths in their parts of the world and together with our creative agencies we seek the most effective means to convey our corporate message.

“It’s purely an internal affair and we are seeking a revision of service providers.

“The new list may include new as well as the old service providers,” he said.

The overhaul will be the first time the airline’s media list has been reviewed in the past five years. The group is also responsible for advertising of other divisions under its banner, including Dnata and subsidiary companies.

In total, the group’s annual revenue for the past year was Dh31.1bn, a 28.4 per cent increase compared to Dh24.2bn the year before.

The Destination and Leisure Management division of Emirates Airline saw another strong year of growth, with sales crossing the Dh1bn mark. This represents an increase of 22 per cent over the previous year, with yield up eight per cent despite the increase in competitive market conditions.

During the year, Emirates Holidays and Arabian Adventures served a record 369,000 customers. The division’s Emirates Hotels and Resorts arm also continued to develop, and this financial year will see the launch of two new properties – Emirates Marina Hotel and Residence, due to open in September 2007, and Emirates Green Lakes Serviced Apartments, scheduled to open in January 2008.

Commenting on the communication policy, Mike said the challenge is a “multi-dimensional one”.
 
 
 
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