BBDO, Atmosphere Proximity Win N.A. Emirates Airline

Had been at ISM

BBDO New York and Atmosphere Proximity have won Emirates Airline’s North American business, replacing Boston firm ISM which worked with the marketer for about 10 years.

The Omnicom agency beat other shops including Grey, DDB and JWT in a review for the account, sources said.

BBDO, which previously had a 40-year working relationship with Delta, works for Emirates overseas through offices like Impact BBDO in Dubai. In addition, Atmosphere Proximity has handled global digital and social responsibilities for the airline for nearly eight years.

Last year, Emirates spent about $31 million in measured media. The agency change to BBDO and Atmosphere Proximity does not affect StrawberryFrog, which was awarded the Dubai-based airline’s global creative lead responsibilities in 2010.

For BBDO, the Emirates win comes on the heels of being selected as the creative lead for this year’s ING New York City Marathon, in an effort to attract attention after the race was cancelled last year in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The new pieces of business come after BBDO and Proximity lost Gillette’s creative account to Grey in April.

“We’re scrappier than ever and this is a good example of a bounce back for us,” said John Osborn, president, CEO, BBDO, N.Y. “Emirates is a great fit, online and offline, and the Road Runners are a great New York institution and it compliments the engagement we already have with New York City and New York State issues.”

BBDO created post 9/11 “New York Miracle” PSA work and also handles “New York Open for Business,” an economic development initiative launched by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Emirates has been expanding its service to the U.S. and flights out of the country. Yesterday, for instance, the airline said it would commence West Coast service to Los Angeles in December  and in April the airline annouced the addition of add flights between JFK airport in New York and Milan beginning in Octobe. That will be the first European route since Emirates dropped its New York to Hamburg flights in 2008.