The field of major players in the Emirates global advertising pitch has been whittled down to a final two, but the brand has unexpectedly invited unnamed independent agencies to participate in its final round.
“We are progressing to the next stage of the pitch for a global lead agency with WPP and VCCP. In addition to these two agency groups, we have invited selected independent agencies whom we felt would be able to provide a fresh view on our requirements, to participate in the pitch process,” said Emirates. “We are planning to complete our evaluation by March. As stated previously, we are seeking a lead agency to create a new global brand campaign for the airline that will impact all touch points. For our existing global agency network, it is business as usual.”
The pitch has been underway since June of last year and has seen Publicis, Omnicom and the Interpublic Group knocked out in its earlier rounds. Emirates clarified that even though the networks of some of its regional partners – Impact BBDO and Leo Burnett – were no longer contenders for the lead agency, it did not necessarily mean they had no future role.
This is not the first time that the pitch process has taken an unexpected turn. In the early stages Emirates handed its UK advertising account to VCCP’s London office without a pitch. UK-based VCCP also has an office in Abu Dhabi.