Blum’s Last for Airline?

By Matt Surman

NEW YORK–Blum/Herbstreith, facing an uncertain future with client Air France due to the airline’s global agency review, is breaking what could be its last campaign for the airline.

The new print ads from the New York shop promote the airline’s expanded L’Espace service, with upgraded reclining seats for first-class and business-class passengers. The ads show passengers sleeping in comfort, with headlines like: ‘First we wine you. Then we dine you. Then we try to get you to sleep with us.’

Alan Blum, agency president, said, ‘We wanted to preserve the Frenchness, but give it a little more accessibility and smile.’ The print ads break May 19 in such publications as The New York Times and Esquire.

The contenders for Air France’s estimated $60-70 million global account are Euro RSCG, Audor Soum, Ammirati Puris Lintas and Ogilvy & Mather, all in Paris.

The agency that wins the review will take over Blum’s U.S. creative account, said an Air France representative in Paris. ‘The agency is still working for us, but on a temporary basis. The new agency will be handling things worldwide,’ she said.

Michael Carroll, U.S.A. advertising manager for Air France in New York, said, ‘We’re really happy with the work (Blum) has done for us, but it’s really up to Paris (if we continue to use them).’

Charlie Herbstreith, executive vice president, creative director, said it would be ‘a disappointment’ if Blum lost its business, but ‘sometimes the macro view overwhelms individual markets Air France has tried to implement international campaigns in the past without much success.’

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