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Qatar Airways takes Batey off retainer after advertising pitch

Qatar AirwaysQatar Airways has reconfigured how it works with agencies after an advertising pitch, taking incumbent Batey off a retainer in a move to award work on a project basis, Mumbrella understands.

Singapore’s most famous homegrown agency Batey, which was subsumed into WPP’s Grey Global Group in 2009, won Qatar Airways after losing flagship client Singapore Airlines in 2007. 

A club of three agencies will now work on the Qatari airline when the need arises, Mumbrella understands.

The move to scrap a retainer, a popular move among clients in tough economic times, has meant that some Grey staff have been laid off, according to sources. The account was run jointly by Batey in Singapore and Grey in Doha.

Qatar Airways said it does not comment on agency relationships. Grey has not responded to Mumbrella’s queries.

WPP acquired a controlling stake in Batey, the agency founded by Ian Batey, the creator of the Singapore Girl, in 1997. It’s fortunes have withered steadily since, with a string of account losses, talent departures and closures of overseas offices. Qatar Airways was one of Batey’s few remaining major clients.

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