Spirit Airlines Begins Advertising Search

Low-cost carrier markets mainly online

Spirit Airlines is contacting agencies about its creative and media business, according to sources.

The carrier, which spends most of its marketing dollars online, has a budget of more than $5 million, sources said. Ark Advisors in New York is helping to manage the search.

The incumbent, Siquis in Baltimore, is participating in the process. Ark referred calls to Spirit in Miramar, Fla., which confirmed the review.

In a statement, Bobby Schroeter, Spirit's vp of consumer marketing, said, "We're looking for the best marketing communications partner to be a member of our relaxed, friendly, fun and playful team."

Schroeter has been with company since 2005.

The airline makes more than 200 daily flights to some 50 destinations in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. It bills itself as a more affordable alternative to bigger carriers, with, for example, lower base fares.

Spirit’s past advertising has been cheeky and irreverent, if not always tasteful. A 2011 banner ad, for example, was a “wiener sale” with “fares too HARD to resist.” And in 2009, Spirit used Flash animation of a tiger cat driving a car into a fire hydrant—a not-so-subtle reference to Tiger Woods’ infamous Escalade crash. “It’s a jungle out there,” said copy in the ad. “Make sure you avoid all the obstacles and get the lowest fares.”

Spirit plans to complete its search in September.