Arun Sudhaman 03 Mar 2011 // 12:00AM GMT
LONDON: British Airways is poised to appoint Grayling and Action Global to its new worldwide agency roster, covering Continental Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. It is understood that contract negotiations with the agencies are currently underway. The airline began the review last year, after the Holmes Report revealed it was parting ways with one-year incumbent Fleishman-Hillard. A number of international agencies put themselves forward for the business – which covers 58 markets and is estimated at approximately £1.8 million – with BA eventually deciding to appoint firms on a regional basis. Barring any contractual glitches, Grayling will take charge of Europe and Asia, while Action Global Communications is retained for the Middle East. South African firm Meropa Communications, meanwhile, will support Africa. Grayling previously handled BA’s PR account in Asia-Pacific, before the airline consolidated its entire global PR brief with Fleishman-Hillard in 2009. Fleishman is due to step down from the business next month. The decision also extends Action Global’s association with BA. The Cyprus-based network has been working with the airline for more than 35 years. The contracts do not cover BA’s activity in the UK and US. A BA spokesperson declined to comment, adding that contract negotiations are still ongoing.