Midway Airlines Follows Pale Rider Into McKinney

WASHINGTON, D.C.-A beer and an airline in one month: does it get any better than this?
McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C., is taking off with Midway Airlines, a corporation in the midst of a revitalization with a $5-7 million advertising budget.
The airline is the second trophy win for McKinney this month; a few weeks ago it was awarded new Pale Rider beer from Miller Brewing Co.
Midway Airlines was previously handled by Bozell in Chicago, which recently resigned the account, according to Joanne Smith, senior vice president of marketing for the carrier. McKinney’s contract is effective Sept. 1, and the first print advertising campaign will be launched within a few weeks.
Don Maurer, president of McKinney & Silver, said there was no formal review, but Smith confirmed that the airline talked to a few local agencies.
Both wins were generated through the contacts of new McKinney vice chairman Tony Wainwright, a recent hire from Harris Drury Cohen in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Wainwright has known Midway president Robert Ferguson since they were both at defunct Braniff Airlines in 1981. In an unusual twist, Wainwright ran the Bloom Agency and also worked at the Dallas-based airline as marketing director for about eight months.
An erstwhile Chicago startup, Midway Airlines went through Chapter 11 reorganization about five years ago. A new group of investors bought the name in 1993 and began serving Midway Airport in Chicago. That proved to be a tough market, however, and the airline moved to the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area. Another group of investors acquired the airline in 1994. Last winter James Goodnight, owner of a software company, invested $22 million in the carrier, which made him and his associates controlling shareholders.