Airline Diverts Account to New Agency

CHICAGO ATA has shifted its $40 million advertising account to a newly created agency headed by the carrier’s former creative veteran, Bernie Pitzel.

The business had been at Publicis in New York after that agency’s Chicago office, which originally was awarded the account in April 2001, closed.

ATA made the move, in part, to be more “cost efficient,” said Rick Larsen, the Indianapolis-based airline’s vice president of marketing.

The account will be supervised by Pitzel, the former head of creative at Grant Jacoby here, who recently opened his own shop called Romani Bros. in Chicago. Pitzel, who worked on the ATA account while at Pitzel & Pollack Advertising in the 1990s, was credited with the long-running “On ATA, you’re on vacation” tagline and has a 17-year relationship with the airline, Larsen said.

Pitzel and Denny Hebson, former creative director at Grant Jacoby who joined Romani, will create a new print ad that will break in local newspapers next week. The work will carry Publicis’ “ATA. An honestly different airline” tagline.