“All of us at Walton Isaacson are excited to join American Airlines in a partnership that represents a positive example of driving change and inclusion in marketing and advertising,” said Aaron Walton, the agency’s CEO. “WI’s appointment as multicultural AOR reflects commitment to diversity and that its marketing and advertising accurately reflect its diverse employees and customers. Our team shares American’s desire, and our deep cultural understanding provides a strong foundation from which to develop powerful, purposeful work.”
American’s ad spending has been climbing as more people return to travel. The carrier spent $14.8 million on U.S. measured media advertising from January to September of 2021, according to Kantar. That’s a big leap from the $3.7 million it spent for the full year 2020 and exceeds the $11.2 million it spent throughout 2019 before the pandemic began.
Earlier today, CNBC reported that American Airlines plans to hire 18,000 people next year in anticipation of a full-blown return to air travel. The company, moreover, today announced a number of senior-level appointments following news last week that longtime CEO Doug Parker would cede his seat to American President Robert Isom on March 31, 2022. Parker will retain chairmanship of the airline’s board.
Among the appointments announced today are Ron DeFeo, named to senior VP and chief communications officer and Nate Geffen to senior VP corporate affairs and chief government affairs officer. DeFeo was most recently senior VP of global engagement and Geffen was previously senior VP of global government affairs. Vasu Raja was elevated to senior VP and chief commercial officer overseeing sales and marketing along with American’s loyalty program.