Marriott Puts Global Media Up for Review

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Marriott Credit: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg

Marriott has announced it's putting its global media up for review after six years with MEC as its global agency. It's been about a year since the hotel giant acquired Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

"As a result of our recent merger, we've assessed the scale and scope of our global paid media needs and are issuing a RFP," a Marriott spokesman said in an emailed statement to Ad Age.

"Our goal with this review is to identify a solution that allows seamless coordination across our expanded ecosystems and greater collaboration between headquarters and the global teams in the field."

MEC is going through some changes of its own. In June, owner GroupM (part of WPP) announced it would be merging MEC with sister agency Maxus to cut costs and free resources to reinvest in Essence, another of its agencies, in an effort to "pivot to the future growth areas of our business," as GroupM global CEO Kelly Clark said at the time.

The combined Maxus-MEC, which has been dubbed Wavemaker, will be led by Tim Castree, the global CEO of MEC. The merger is expected to be complete by January.

Working with MEC earned Marriott gold and silver Creative Data Lions at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity in the areas of "Social Data" and "Use of Real-time Data," respectively. MEC is expected to defend.

The global budget for Marriott likely exceeds $195 million, which is what the company spent on U.S. measured media in 2016, according to Kantar.

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