American Trans Air Seeks Outside Shop for Creative Projects

By Katy Eckmann and Trevor Jensen

CHICAGO–American Trans Air in Indianapolis is looking for an agency to handle a creative project to promote the airline’s 25th year in business, sources said last week.

At least four agencies–two in Indianapolis and two in Florida–are participating in the pitch, according to sources. Presentations are set for this week at ATA headquarters in Indianapolis. Dennis Poynter, marketing manger at ATA, declined to discuss the competition.

The discount travel airline has been handling its advertising in-house since the dissolution last November of lead agency Pitzel & Pollack. The agency–and its principals, Bernie Pitzel and Marv Pollack–was absorbed by Grant/Jacoby here, which took on Pitzel & Pollack clients Air South and Vanguard Airlines, but not ATA.

The creative project for ATA would include TV, radio, print and direct mail work, according to sources. Florida, where two of the agency contenders are located, is a major destination of the airline, which specializes in chartered vacation travel.

ATA spent $6.79 million on advertising last year, and a nearly identical amount, $6.84 million, in 1995, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Media buying for ATA is handled by Kelly, Scott & Madison in Chicago. San Jose & Associates, Chicago, handles Hispanic advertising for ATA.

Re-edited versions of TV commercials from Pitzel & Pollack have been used since ATA moved the account in-house last November.

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