Hilton Ad Consolidation To Create $40 illion Prize: Agencies To Compete For Account Combining Domestic, Int'l Hotels

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Hilton Worldwide has launched an agency review to consolidate advertising for its holdings around the world, with billings estimated at $30 million to $40 million.

The hotelier is consolidating the accounts of Hilton Hotels Corp., its domestic hospitality arm, and Hilton Hotels International. The two companies had operated separately since 1964, but in January unified operations.


North American incumbent Dailey & Associates, Los Angeles, will pitch the consolidated account, but there is confusion about whether that pitch will be done with sibling Interpublic Group of Cos. agency Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York.

Select Resources International President Mike Agate and Dailey President Brian Morris said the Interpublic agencies are jointly pitching the account. But Martin Puris, Ammirati chairman-CEO and chief creative officer, said his agency is not involved in the pitch because of a conflict with client Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

Mr. Morris said the two hotel chains cater to different customers and that it was premature to assume there would be a conflict. If one of the chains believes there is a conflict, "then we'll have to work that out," he said.

Saatchi & Saatchi/Pacific, Torrance, Calif., and Zenith Media, New York, also are expected to jointly pitch. Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, London, and Zenith handle a portion of Hilton Hotels International's European billings.

Hilton International also uses local agencies in various locations, and said those shops won't be affected by the consolidation.


Select, located in West Hollywood, Calif., is handling the review. It currently includes both creative and media, but Mr. Agate said media could be unbundled later.

He said a decision is expected by the end of September.

Hilton is the latest in a long line of hoteliers to launch agency reviews in the past two years. Last month, hotel and real estate conglomerate HFS-parent of the Holiday Inn and Ramada chains-placed in review the $100 million consolidated media buying account for all its holdings.

Last spring, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino awarded its $12 million account to Lois/EJL, New York, while BBDO West, Los Angeles, won the $18 million Best Western International review.

Contributing: Alice Z. Cuneo.

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