Universal McCann and McCann Erickson have picked up the media account for South African Airways after pitching jointly against five rival agencies. The account is believed to be worth £1m.
The deal will focus on the London-Johannesburg and Cape Town routes where SAA competes against British Airways and Virgin. Universal McCann previously held the account in 1996.
New business and marketing director Jennie Soffe said: "Working on airlines is always a challenge since they are targeting one of the most exclusive of audiences - business travellers.
"We have a lot of experience in the travel and airline sector and already work with Cathay Pacific, Air Canada and Travelocity." Soffe added: "Trying to communicate effectively with travelers is difficult because you are always trying to understand their mindset in order to work out how to cut through. Luckily, having worked with SAA before, we feel we already have a keen understanding of their requirements. It is going to be a fruitful partnership."
Russel Barlow-Jones, marketing manager for SAA in the UK and Ireland, said: "We were impressed with their presentation and look forward to working with them again."