Northwest Airlines May take Off With Fallon McElligott

CHICAGO – While Northwest Airlines appears ready to realign its $30 million domestic and international business, which will likely benefit Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, at least one agency source said that the review for KLM Airlines’ domestic business may also be a chance for Northwest to review outside agencies without holding a formal review.
Sources say a formal announcement may be released as early as this week that will outline which of ousted J. Walter Thompson/N.Y.’s duties will fall to Fallon.
Northwest officials had not returned phones calls as of late last week and a spokesperson for Fallon would say only that talks are underway.
A Northwest spokesperson previously said that the airline had no plans to hold a review for any portion of the account and that Thompson’s responsibilities would be split among existing agencies which include: Fallon, Kolesar & Hartwell/Minneapolis and Ogilvy & Mather/N.Y. Sources say Fallon, which currently handles regional advertising for Northwest, stands to add the more lucrative domestic duties, but not international, to its roster. O&M, which hasn’t done any Northwest work since last April, may be eligible for international assignments. No change is expected on K&H’s trade assignment.
Northwest, however, may be quietly screening other agencies behind-the-scenes through a review in process for new partner KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ domestic business. Last week the U.S. Transportation Department gave final approval to Northwest and KLM to operate as a single carrier and integrate services – possibly creating a combined marketing operation, which, although sources say would affect operations primarily, could influence advertising efforts.
An agency source said last week that questionnaires for KLM’s $3 million U.S. advertising account, which has been at Angotti, Thomas, Hedge/N.Y., included questions that clearly indicate the piece of business up for review is a newly-combined Northwest-KLM domestic account.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)