McDonnell Douglas Corp is poised to launch a million-dollar advertising campaign to restore public confidence in the DC10.
McDonnell Douglas director of corporate advertising, John H. Bickers, confirmed in an interview from corporate headquarters in St. Louis earlier this week that the company has prepared an extensive campaign that will involve television, radio and newspaper advertising in "more than 50 cities around the world."
He said magazine advertisements would follow because of the longer lead time needed to place such ads.
The McDonnell Douglas campaign is being handled by the company's regular agency, J. Walter Thompson Co., according to Bickers, and involves an immediate budget of $1 million with "signigicant" increases after the planes are in the air.
Thompson has been involved extensively in the program, Bickers said, and is planning to deliver a twofold message in the advertisements: "First we want our readers to recognize the capabilities of the plane itself and second we want to restore the image of McDonnell Douglas."
"Part of the reputation of a product is the company with which it is associated, and we have a company with a good reputation," Bickers said.
After the crash of the DC10 in Chicago at the end of May, McDonnell Douglas cut back on its corporate advertising.
Bickers said the new campaign will focus on the younger audience, which J. Walter Thompson's studies indicate is more concerned about the plane's safety than are older travelers.
Bickers said McDonnell Douglas has had discussions with the domestic airlines that own the 138 DC10s about joint advertising projects.
Almost all 137 DC10s owned by foreign airlines are back in the air but they have decided to advertise on their own.
"We do not expect them to take the same approach," he said. "They will more likely emphasise such things as schedules and frequency of flights."