Japan Airlines Assigns Business to Colby

LOS ANGELES Dentsu’s Colby & Partners said it has acquired the Japan Airlines creative and media account without a review.

JAL previously worked with Dentsu’s DCA in New York. The account shift follows the client’s decision earlier this year to move its American headquarters from New York to El Segundo, Calif.

The client spends approximately $1 million annually on ads, according to CMR. While current billings have not been determined, the total likely will be higher than in years past, said agency president and executive creative director Rick Colby.

JAL, which is Japan’s No. 1 airline, per Hoover’s Online, recently merged with the country’s No. 3 airline, Japan Air Systems, to form Japan Airlines Systems Corp. While the two carriers are currently operating separately, they are expected to integrate operations in 2004.

Colby is charged with communicating JAL’s new identity and promoting new programs and features to travelers in the U.S.

The account is a good fit for the shop because it has experience targeting business travelers through current client Hotel Bel-Air and former accounts like Shutters on the Beach and Casa del Mar Hotel, Colby said.

“Japan Airlines is a good account,” said Colby. “It’s really strong, has good service and it’s growing.”

Founded in 1951, JAL currently operates more than 280 aircraft in more than 170 cities in 30 countries.