The agency’s Bahrain operation will handle the brief, which was previously held by MEC following its winning of the account in August 2009. Gulf Air, which is state-owned, has faced significant challenges this year due to protests in the country, with the airline forced to cancel all flights to and from Iran and Iraq and temporarily shut sales offices in the capital Manama during March as the country declared a state of emergency.
Confirming the appointment of Mindshare, Shehab Saeed, senior marketing manager at Gulf Air, said: “Mindshare was selected on the basis of what they offer us on a strategic level in terms of media planning and buying. The selection of a new media agency has been a long process with applicants going through a number of stringent tests and criteria until we finally found the right fit. Mindshare’s regional strength is a good fit to support our growth strategy embedded in our commercial vision. Their strength in media was also a deciding factor as the trend is now towards going digital. The level of research that is available with Mindshare and the tracking of digital media success rate was also crucial from an ROI point of view.”
Johnny Khazzoum, managing director of Mindshare Bahrain, added: “Gulf Air is a strategic win for Mindshare, but more than that we believe we have the passion, ideas and professional commitment to be true partners in achieving Gulf Air’s vision.”
Gulf Air CEO Samer Majali recently told Gulf Business he was confident he could lead the airline into profitability, despite the unrest. “2011 was the second year of the strategy plan and we are trying to get back on track as much as we can,” he said.