NEW YORK–Backer Spielvogel Bates’ recipe for success for hanging onto the Trans World Airlines account included one part presentation, a" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" >

Why TWA decided to go home with who brung ’em



NEW YORK–Backer Spielvogel Bates’ recipe for success for hanging onto the Trans World Airlines account included one part presentation, a

Having abruptly grounded what was shaping up to be a full-blown review for the $60-million airline account, TWA last week said, “BSB is being retained basically because we are pleased with their work and the success of Comfort Class.”
But last week’s publicly stated commitment to BSB came less than two weeks after TWA said it would probably extend its talks to other shops after meeting with Wells Rich Greene BDDP/N.Y., McKinney & Silver/Raleigh, N.C.; and D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles/St. Louis and the incumbent (ADWEEK, Nov. 22).
Asked what had changed in two weeks, the TWA spokesperson cited a recently released study of the airline industry by researchers J.D. Powers and Associates. That study of frequent business travelers showed that TWA ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction on long flights (500 miles or more) and No. 2 (behind Delta Air Lines) for short flights. That’s quite a turnaround from last year when TWA wasn’t even included in the study because of its instability.
“In the past, (research from travel consultant Stan) Plog was telling us we were doing the right thing. J.D. Powers confirmed that and said it’s possibly the best in the business,” said the TWA spokesperson.
The airline study was released Nov. 23. When TWA chairman Bill Howard notified BSB that it was keeping the account the following Monday, Nov. 29., he cited the study’s findings, said sources. TWA is now negotiating with J.D. Powers te use the claim in its advertising.
Other factors seemed to have worked in BSB’s favor. For instance, the airline’s unions–which, combined, own 45% of TWA and have been satisfied with BSB–are said te have balked about Howard’s unilateral decision to review agencies.
Vicki Frankovich, president of the Independent Federation of Flight Attendants, said the agency issue wasn’t discussed specifically at a recent board meeting, but added, “The sort of thing we did discuss was the general process of keeping each other informed . . . We all want to ensure that the proper issues are being focused on, and that we were all being involved, and these comments were well received.”
It is also believed that BSB’s earlier presentation went well. Howard is said to have been noticeably impressed by BSBW chairman/ceo Carl Spielvogel as well as with some of the agency’s existing work which he hadn’t previously seen.
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