American Airlines Names African American Shop

Don Coleman Advertising was chosen as American Airlines’ first African American ad agency following a review.
The budget for the target effort was estimated by industry sources at $4 million.
DCA will handle advertising, media buying, special promotions and public relations programs for American.
The selection followed an extensive, nationwide agency review. An initial field of 30 candidates was narrowed quickly to six, then to a final two. The finalists were invited to Fort Worth, Texas, to make their cases to the client.
“[DCA has] really impressive people. They have a great track record, are very energetic and have lots of creativity and ideas,” said airlines spokesperson Al Becker.
True North Communications, which has a 49 percent stake in the Southfield, Mich., shop, owns the Fort Worth-based carrier’s general market agency, Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas.
“Temerlin McClain has been assisting us for many years with marketing and promotion efforts directed toward the African American community,” Becker said. “We felt like African Americans are growing and becoming an ever larger part of our business.
“We felt the time had come in our history that we would benefit greatly in working with an agency that specializes explicitly in working with that market,” he said.
DCA was founded in 1988 and now has more than 112 employees and annual billings exceeding $150 million. The agency’s other clients include DaimlerChrysler, Kmart Corp., General Mills, Domino’s Pizza and Miller Brewing.
The selection of DCA is the second minority-marketing relationship established by American Airlines. Last year the carrier designated Zubi Advertising of Coral Gables, Fla., as its agency of record for the Hispanic market.
–with Trevor Jensen