OMD takes Qantas media account

James McGrath & Pippa Chambers
By James McGrath & Pippa Chambers | 22 December 2014

The flying kangaroo is in OMD's hands after it beat out Maxus, Bohemia, and incumbent ZenithOptimedia to the prize.

The account was one of the hardest fought of the year, with it put out to pitch in September.

According to Nielsen, Qantas' main media spend last year was $34.5 million, but it's thought about $15 million of this was Jetstar-related, meaning the size of the prize is about $20 million. Maxus remains the agency for the Jetstar portion of the business.

The pitching process was interrupted by the departure of senior marketer Tim McColl Jones in November, although the process was led by Qantas' group executive of brand, marketing and corporate affairs, Olivia Wirth.

Speaking to AdNews, CEO OMD Australia, Peter Horgan, said: “Qantas is an iconic Australian brand that we have long wanted to partner with. We see great collaboration opportunities applying OMD’s specialised content and data capabilities to help drive their business and brand growth.”

A statement from Qantas said: "Qantas has completed the review of its media planning and buying arrangements as part of the airline’s broader transformation program. 

"Following a comprehensive pitch process involving four agencies including incumbent ZenithOptimedia, OMD has been awarded the new three year contract."

Wirth thanked the ZO team for the hard work they have undertaken for Qantas over a number of years.

"We respect and greatly appreciate the work of the many talented people at ZO and thank them for their contribution to the Qantas business," Wirth said.

"We were impressed with OMD throughout the pitch processes and their strong alignment with Qantas’ future media planning and buying strategy. In OMD we have chosen the agency that provides us with the most comprehensive and innovative ideas to help drive the Qantas brand into the future."

Qantas will continue to work with Red Planet, Qantas Loyalty’s media, analytics and research services business, in digital media planning and buying.

As well as having Qantas on board, earlier this month OMD retained paint brand DuluxGroup, keeping $14 million of billings on its books and one of its foundation clients within the stable. 

Last week, incumbent ZenithOptimedia was given the news that it would not be retaining the account - rounding out a rocky year for the agency.

The Qantas account was last put out to pitch in 2012, with OMD squaring off against ZenithOptimedia for the media spend.

For more news:

AdNews Hotseat: ZenithOptimedia's CEO, Ian Perrin
Qantas media could be split: pitch down to two
Qantas marketer Tim McColl Jones steps down

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at pippachambers@yaffa.com.au

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