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BBDO South Flies Again With U.S. Account of Iberia

ATLANTA-Former Delta Air Lines agency BBDO South here is airborne again, this time with the American ad account of Iberia Airlines, a Spanish carrier expanding its U.S. service
BBDO officials would not disclose billings. Although Competitive Media Reporting tracked Iberia’s spending at just under $1 million for January-November 1997, sources estimate the current budget at $4-6 million.
Iberia awarded its global account to Tiempo/BBDO in Madrid last year. BBDO South participated in that pitch, said agency executive vice president and general manager Jeff Upshaw.
“[Last year], the U.S. was not a major focal point” for Iberia, Upshaw said. “When it became one, Tiempo invited us to Madrid to make a presentation.” At press time it was unclear whether other agencies were considered for the U.S. account.
Iberia currently has routes throughout Europe and Latin America, with only two U.S. flights originating from New York and Miami. Beginning in June it will offer nonstop service from Chicago to Madrid. BBDO will handle that launch and image work for the Iberia brand.
“[Iberia’s] objective is to position themselves as a terrific airline for upscale leisure and business travelers going to Southern Europe,” said Upshaw. He said the agency faces two challenges: low awareness and Americans’ perceptions of Iberia as a second-tier carrier appropriate only for travel to Spain. Jim Garrison, recently elevated to executive vice president and group account director, will head the Iberia account.
The win follows BBDO landing AGL Investments’ $5-10 million business in January and earning two local Addy best of show awards last month. It is also a finalist for Shell Chemical’s global account (see story below).