WSJ Ad Takes Shot at Rival Priceline

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NEW YORK ( --, the discount travel site, today broke an ad campaign in The Wall Street Journal taking aim at its rival

Hotwire contrasts its service for finding discount flights, hotels and car rentals by pointing out how Priceline first requires consumers to enter their credit card information before they can see the results of their search.

The ad features the headline "Give your credit card before you see a price. Was this ever a good idea?" The ad's creative shows an e-mail in-box full of rejected bids from Priceline, while a message from Hotwire hypes its no-bid, no-credit-card service. The tagline doubles as the e-mail's subject line: "No guessing, Everyday Hot Fares."

The campaign, by DiMassimo Brand Advertising, New York, is part of an estimated $75 million advertising and marketing spend planned for 2002, said John Hommeyer, Hotwire's chief marketing officer. He added that the marketer is committed to spending during the current ad slump.

The campaign includes radio spots in 16 markets that include plugs for Hotwire by on-air personalities Imus, Howard Stern and Susie Orman. Hotwire expects to launch national radio and print later in the year.

Priceline, meanwhile, will break a national radio campaign Friday using its longtime spokesman, the actor William Shatner. It's not known whether the spots, created in-house, will refer to Hotwire's new campaign.

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