Qantas invites TV networks to pitch for in-flight ad platform

By Rosie Baker | 14 April 2014

Qantas wants to rake in more revenue from in-flight advertising. It is shaking up its existing platform and has invited all the major TV networks to pitch for the business.

The airline, which is in the midst of a major organisational shake-up as a result of poor financial performance, says that it is “modernising” how advertising is integrated into its in-flight entertainment systems to improve revenue and customer experience.

SBS, Channel 7, Channel Nine, Ten, Fox and Bauer Media, which has managed in-flight advertising since 2001, have all been invited to pitch for the work.

Qantas wants to update the current traditional TV-style approach of having ads in between programs and could introduce dynamic displays, banner ads and sponsored content.

It wants to be able to show different ads to passengers in business, first and economy – something it says is possible with its current system.

Olivia Wirth, Qantas group executive for brand, marketing and corporate affairs, said: “Our approach to date has been quite conventional, with TV adverts slotted in between programs. We’re going to the market for some fresh ideas, and while we want to maximise our revenue we also want to improve the in-flight entertainment experience overall.

“People watch content very differently than they did even five years ago. We want those responding to the tender to treat this as a blank slate. Our golden rule is that you can’t compromise people’s viewing experience with adverts that are overly intrusive. There’s a careful balance there that we don’t intend to disturb.”

The changes would impact back-of-seat screens, iPads streaming content on board and its main entertainment screens.

Increased revenue from in-flight advertising will fund further improvements to customer experience the airline plans to roll out in coming years.

Branded magazine Qantas the Australian Way, which is also produced by Bauer, is not affected by the tender.

The pitch is expected to complete in May with a new contract rolled out by 1 July.

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