UK Airport Operator BAA Reviews Lucrative PR Roster
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UK Airport Operator BAA Reviews Lucrative PR Roster

BAA Airports, the Spanish-owned operator of six British airports, is reviewing its PR roster, worth an estimated £1m.

Arun Sudhaman

LONDON--BAA, the Spanish-owned operator of six British airports, is reviewing its PR roster, worth £1m a year.

Current roster agencies include Blue Rubicon (corporate), Mischief (consumer), Finsbury (public affairs) and Regester Larkin (crisis management). A BAA spokesperson told the Holmes Report that the review covers all of its UK PR activities, although the public affairs component is Europe-wide.

"We will probably move to a more project based approach and identify a small number of agencies for a roster," said the spokesperson, adding that all of the incumbent firms are expected to take part in the tender.

Budgets, added the spokesperson, total £4m over the lifetime of the contract, which will run for three years with an additional one-year option. 

The review follows a spate of negative issues for BAA, including public and regulatory opposition to its plans for a third runway. The company was also roundly criticised for its response to snowfall at Heathrow Airport in late 2010.

However, the BAA spokesperson noted that the pitch was a "routine retender" as required by the EU public procurement directive.

Last year, PRWeek reported that the company had shelved a corporate and public affairs pitch, following the departure of Malcolm Robertson, BAA’s fifth communications director in as many years. BAA also parted ways with head of media Andrew Teacher, following a restructuring.

Clare Harbord now heads the company’s corporate affairs function, after previously heading communications at the Ministry of Justice. Harbord is supported by director of policy and political relations Nigel Milton and director of media relations Simon Baugh.

Owned by a consortium led by Spain’s Ferrovial, BAA’s six UK airports include Heathrow, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow and Aberdeen. The company has announced plans to sell Edinburgh Airport.  

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