FLYING HIGH

Discount air travel pioneer Cheap Tickets has awarded its $15 million advertising account to Starr Seigle Communications, following a review of undisclosed shops.
The account becomes the Honolulu agency’s largest, said David Koch, president of its Starr Seigel McCombs Advertising unit. It pushes the agency’s billings to $53 million, and SSC will add five staffers, including an account supervisor, to help handle the business, Koch said.
The review came just eight months after Cheap Tickets, also based in Honolulu, hired Colby Effler & Partners, Santa Monica, Calif.
Company founder and CEO Michael Hartley cited SSC’s “capabilities in traditional advertising and in interactive technologies” in explaining the decision.
SSC’s proximity to the client also played in its favor, Koch said.
Cheap Tickets established itself offline in 1986 and has built an online presence through www.cheaptickets.com–a unit that accounted for roughly one-third of the 840,000 airline tickets it sold in the first half of 1999.
–James Zoltak