Cathay Pacific Airways Hands Global Account to Publicis, VCCP

McCann Worldwide loses the business after 25 years

Cathay Pacific has ended its 25-year relationship with McCann Worldgroup and has sent its account to Publicis and VCCP. - Credit by Cathay Pacific
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Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong’s flag carrier, announced the conclusion of its global agency review today, handing creative and media duties to Publicis Groupe and VCCP.

It is unclear exactly what portion of the account went to Publicis and what went to VCCP, as neither agency returned a request for further information by the time of publication. Cathay Pacific also did not respond to additional queries.

“We were impressed with the quality of thinking and passion for Cathay from all the agencies that took part in this review,” Edward Bell, general manager of brand, insights and marketing communication at Cathay Pacific, said in a statement. “Among a very strong competitive set, both Publicis Groupe and VCCP stood out in terms of strategy, use of technology and disruptive mindset.”

The appointment marks the end of the airline’s 25-year AOR relationship with McCann Worldgroup.

Bell tipped his hat to McCann in a statement that read, the agency “produced some great work and have maintained a strong commitment throughout.”

A person close to the review told Adweek that Cathay Pacific was “looking to reduce costs,” adding that it was a $4 million to $5 million account for McCann Worldgroup. It is unclear if the agency competed to defend the account.

According to COMvergence estimates, Cathay Pacific spends $15 million annually on measured media globally.

Update: In a later note to Adweek, R3 said it ran the Cathay Pacific review and placed its global ad spend at $50 million.

Tom Kao, Publicis Groupe CEO, Hong Kong, called Cathay Pacific “the pride of Hong Kong” in a statement, “and we are extremely honored and privileged to work with this global iconic brand.”

“Cathay Pacific is a globally recognizable brand with a renowned history of superior quality service,” VCCP CEO Cliff Hall added. “We’re ready to challenge the market with them on their journey to becoming the world’s best airline.”

The company said it conducted the review through the first half of this year and selected agency talent from Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Japan, India, Australia, the U.S. and the U.K.

@kitten_mouse Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.
Publish date: August 31, 2018 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT