Orbitz Taps Optimedia for Media Planning and Buying

Digital Duties Remain In-house at Online Travel Site

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Online travel site Orbitz has named Publicis Groupe's Optimedia U.S. its agency of record in the U.S. for its $36 million traditional media-planning and -buying account.

Optimedia replaces Mullen's MediaHub division, which has had the business since 2008. Brian Hoyt, a spokesman for Orbitz, said the company initiated a review a few months ago due to a conflict within MediaHub, part of Interpublic Group of Cos., that arose after the agency brought on a new client, JetBlue. Mr. Hoyt would not say which agency or agencies Optimedia competed against.

On why it chose Optimedia Mr. Hoyt told Ad Age: "For our needs they were a very strategic firm that understands how to maximize the return on investment we make on offline media spend."

Orbitz will continue to manage online media buying operations internally.

Optimedia currently works for a number of major marketers including T-Mobile, L'Oreal, Garnier, Maybelline New York, Cartier, Whirlpool, Kitchen-Aid and Denny's.

Omnicom Group's BBDO remains Orbitz's creative agency of record. The agency recently launched the "When You Orbitz, You Know" campaign.

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