United Slashes Marketing Costs

NEW YORK United Airlines CEO Glenn Tilton today said the newly restructured company would lay off at least 1,000 workers and cut marketing and advertising costs by $60 million.

Tilton broke the news at the Merrill Lynch Gobal Transportation Conference in New York.

In 2005, United spent $75 million in measured media after an outlay of $98 million in 2004, per TNS Media Intelligence. Details on the advertising and marketing cuts were not immediately available.

Publicis Groupe’s Fallon in Minneapolis is United’s lead agency.

The carrier’s emergence from bankruptcy in February required a focus on traditional media like radio and newspaper ads, said Robert Mann, president of R.W. Mann & Company, an airline industry analysis firm in Port Washington, N.Y.

“Once that’s been established and the pump has been primed, they’re going to rely on the far more efficient new media,” Mann said. “It could coast a while on the changes it had already made.”

The staffing cuts represent about 11 percent of the company’s 9,400 salaried employees and nearly 2 percent of the total 57,000-person workforce.

Rivals Delta and Northwest are currently in bankruptcy proceedings.