Rebrand ‘not the answer’ for Malaysia Airlines, says ad agency boss

Malaysia Airlines: time for a rebrand?

Malaysia Airlines: time for a rebrand?

Re-branding is “not the answer” to restore the fortunes of Malaysia Airlines, a prominent Malaysian ad agency executive has said.

News emerged last week that the troubled airline is undergoing a strategic review of its business that could include a rebrand and possible name change in the wake of two disasters in six months, with a MH370 flight going missing and then a MH17 jet being shot down over Eastern Ukraine.

Lara Hussein, boss of M&C Saatchi Malaysia, told Mumbrella that rebranding the airline would be perceived to be “superficial” and would not change the public image of the company.

“I am a frequent traveller on Malaysia Airlines. I rarely choose other airlines, and the tragic events have really damaged what would have been a near perfect safety record,” Hussein said.

“I don’t think re-branding is the answer. To change the name, image or logo would appear to be superficial and not trigger any change in perception,” she said.

Lara Hussein

Lara Hussein

“It would take years for a re-brand to take effect. I think change has to come from within. They really have to show a change in terms of a new management restructure, add new aircraft to the fleet, negate bad publicity in terms of being heavily bureaucratic, and of course improve the low morale faced by employees and crew,” she said.

“They need to up their game and be competitive. Currently they are lagging behind and behaving like a sleepy giant. Not the pride of our nation the way it once was.”

Malaysia Airlines’ advertising is currently handled by Ogilvy, which was behind the recent campaign that ran with the slogan, ‘Journeys are made by the people you travel with’.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing