Travel site Hotels.com is on the hunt for a new creative agency of record to oversee its North American business.
The incumbent on the account is WPP's Y&R in Chicago. Spots currently airing for Hotels.com use claymation, a campaign which appears to have gone stale. Y&R Chicago declined to comment on the pitch and whether it will defend the business, while Hotels.com did not return a request for comment by press time.
MDC Partners-owned TargetCasthas been the media agency of the record for Hotels.com since 2007 and is not impacted by the creative review.
The search process is being managed by consultancy Ark Advisors, which did not return calls seeking comment. A variety of shops have already been targeted as possible candidates in the review, and responses to a request-for-information document are due back in a matter of days.
Final presentations are expected to take place in mid-October at the marketers' Dallas headquarters. The winning agency will be named creative agency of record, and will oversee strategy, digital and creative duties for both the U.S. and Canada.
Hotels.com, which is owned by Expedia Inc., a company that operates other travel-related sites like Expedia and Hotwire, spent about $38.5 million on U.S. measured media in 2012, according to Kantar Media. Spending has been trailing steadily downward for the site, which was spending close to $70 million in measured media in 2007 but cut that to about $50 million a couple years later.
Contributing: Rupal Parekh