Grey nabs $100 mil media win

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Grey Advertising has nabbed the $100 million HFS global media buying account. In addition, the New York-based agency has made it to the final round of Reebok International's $90 million media review, contending with D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York.

A decision on that review is expected by the end of this month.

HFS, a hotel, real estate and car rental conglomerate, awarded its consolidated media account to Grey after a four-month review that included incumbents Zenith Media, Western International Media and SFM, all New York.


The assignment encompasses hotel and motel chains Days Inn of America, Ramada, Super 8, Knights Inn, Villager Lodge, Win-gate Inn and Howard Johnson; plus Century 21 and Coldwell Banker in real estate and Avis Rent A Car System.

Century 21 still is holding a creative review for its $30 million ad account, with contenders including Arnold Communications, Boston, and DDB Needham Worldwide, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Bates USA, all New York.

Scott Anderson, exec VP-chief marketing officer at HFS, said he was looking for "added value and clout" in the media consolidation.

"Century 21 is a big buyer, but not as big of a buyer as all of us together," he said.


Mr. Anderson said another reason for the consolidation was to get a broader look at the media buys.

"You can traffic cop" with one media buyer, he noted, to make sure all the franchises are getting the most cost-efficient and most-intelligent media selections.

Grey will handle all media for HFS, including TV, radio, outdoor and print.

Mr. Anderson said that since "keeping brand integrity is very important," each HFS franchise will retain its own ad agencies for creative and media planning.


"We've shown that we can work with different companies," said Alec Gerster, exec VP-director of media services at Grey, pointing out Grey has 30-plus agency-of-record media assignments.

On SmithKlein Beecham, for which Grey already handles the bulk of its national broadcast buying, the losing agency was incumbent, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York.

Copyright August 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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