LOS ANGELES The Phelps Group has been tapped to handle integrated marketing for Malaysia Airlines and NuSil Technology, the agency said. Combined billings are more than $8 million.
Phelps, an independent agency in Santa Monica, Calif., assumes ad duties for Malaysia Airlines from eight-year incumbent Abert-Poindexter in Hermosa Beach, Calif. Publicis Groupe's Mediavest in Los Angeles will handle media buying.
According to Malaysia Airlines marketing manager Vladimir Velasco, the carrier, which has its North American headquarters in Los Angeles, had been in talks with the Los Angeles office of Publicis shop D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, which folded at the end of 2002. The airline then held a review last year, considering the incumbent and Phelps, as well as Publicis in Seattle and independent Amazon Advertising in San Francisco, the client said. Publicis' Leo Burnett in Kuala Lumpur is the lead agency on the creative account and Starcom handles international media buys.
Billings for Malaysia Airlines are approximately $5 million, said Velasco.
Phelps will handle advertising, public relations, promotions and interactive marketing to support the airline's routes in North and South America. It also will work on Golden Holidays, a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines that offers travel packages and tours to Malaysia. The shop has already begun running Golden Holidays print ads and is set to launch newspaper work in May.
"Our goal is to focus on increasing the amount of traffic on the front part of the aircraft," said Phelps vice president and team leader Hank Shaw, referring to the airline's strategy of trying to fill first-class seats first.
Phelps' NuSil Technology win also follows a review of undisclosed contenders. The Carpinteria, Calif., client, which makes silicone compounds for the healthcare, aerospace and electronics industries, previously worked with freelancers, said Shaw. Work will include advertising, direct and interactive marketing and PR for NuSil and its subsidiary, Morehouse-Cowles.