Holiday Inn Puts Global Advertising Account Into Review

DDB, JWT, Saatchi-Fallon and McCann to Make Final Presentations Next Month

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Holiday Inn is conducting a review of its global creative advertising account, and four networks will make final presentations in a bid for the hotel chain's business next month, executives familiar with the matter said. They are: Omnicom Group's DDB; WPP's JWT; Publicis Groupe's Saatchi- Fallon Group; and Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson.

Executives said Joanne Davis Consulting in New York is assisting with the review. Calls to the consultant were not returned by press time, and agency representatives either declined to comment or didn't immediately respond to requests.

Global makeover
The review comes as the brand is undergoing a massive global relaunch, making over many of its thousands of hotel properties. The relaunch is being done with an eye to giving the hotels a more contemporary look and feel, and improving customer service, with the goal of completing the process by the end of 2010.

The creative review also follows a media review that Holiday Inn, which is part of Intercontinental Hotels Group, completed earlier this year. Media services for Intercontinental's brands -- which in addition to Holiday Inn include Crowne Plaza and Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts -- previously were handled by more than a dozen agencies worldwide, but in March, WPP's Mindshare was named global media agency for all the brands.

On the creative side, Holiday Inn has been working with McCann this year; the chain tapped the New York shop for a multimillion-dollar, multichannel ad campaign to tout the redesign that focused on the changes taking place in the hotel properties as well as strategic alliances with Major League Baseball and others.

In an interview with Ad Age last summer, Intercontinental's chief marketing officer, Tom Seddon, said the company's media mix was about 80% to 85% nontraditional, noting that customers in the sector have aggressively moved to the web for reservations.

The Holiday Inn brand has about 1,300 hotels and 350 to 400 more are in the pipeline, while the fast-growing Holiday Inn Express chain has more than 2,000 hotels and more than 600 planned.

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