NEW YORK–Recent and upcoming management changes at Delta Air Lines, along with discussions with a brand identity firm to spruce up the carrier’s im" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" data-auth = "" >

Delta storm clouds over BBDO By Alison Fahey and Elaine Underwoo

NEW YORK–Recent and upcoming management changes at Delta Air Lines, along with discussions with a brand identity firm to spruce up the carrier’s im

Last week, Delta announced that it would eliminate more than a dozen top-level management positions, including that of assistant vp/ advertising and sales promotion Judy Jordan, who joined the Atlanta-based airline in 1977 and has been a key executive in charge of advertising strategy.
The heat to produce problem-solving advertising has been intensifying on Jordan, the entire advertising department and BBDO.
About the effectiveness of Delta’s advertising, one Delta executive said: “I think there is some concern. There was a point when there was some discussion about opening up certain segments of the business for review. But it was shot down by the board.”
The executive speculated that the board may have shot down the move, contemplated about three months ago, because wholesale changes in advertising and marketing were brewing at the airline.
Amid the streamlining efforts announced last week, Delta also is looking to hire a senior marketing executive, said sources.
BBDO is already taking steps to shore up the account, which is officially housed at BBDO South in Atlanta. The agency’s New York office is taking a more active role on the business, producing creative and considering hiring a suit to run the business out of New York (ADWEEK, July 12).
Currently, both the New York and Atlanta BBDO offices are working on new campaigns for Delta.
A new image advertising campaign is due out in September, but it is not clear whether that work is originating in New York or Atlanta. It is believed, though, that the new commercials will not carry the longtime tagline, “We love to fly and it shows.”
Last week, Delta announced positive fiscal fourth-quarter results, reporting net income of $7.1 million, compared to a devastating loss of $180.2 million one year earlier.
Part of Delta’s problems stem from its European routes, which it acquired in 1991 from Pan-Am. Besides loading on debt, Europe presents a marketing challenge to all American carriers.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)