Despite the departure of a United Air Lines CEO who was particularly close to Pat Fallon and a record-setting quarterly loss at the carrier, Fallon executives remain guardedly optimistic about the future with their largest global client.
Although Fallon executives have not met with new United CEO John Creighton since he took the top post last week, executives at the airline continued to express confidence in the agency and its work, particularly the ads that have rolled out since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"We're very happy with the direction of our advertising, particularly since Sept. 11," said Jerry Dow, United's director of worldwide marketing.
"I think the new CEO's focus will be on the financials for the foreseeable future."
United posted a $1.16 billion third-quarter loss.
Former CEO James Goodwin's association with Fallon chief Pat Fallon had been known to extend to hunting trips.
Creighton, who served as CEO of paper-products manufacturer Weyerhaeuser from 1991-97, may be somewhat familiar with the agency. Fallon handled the ad account of the Tacoma, Wash., company's fine-paper division from 1988-99. Agency executives, how ever, could not recall having many dealings with Creighton.
Fallon won the Elk Grove Village, Ill., air carrier's $100 million consolidated global account in January after a shootout with Young & Rubicam in New York.