Choice Hotels to Visit 7 in Creative Review

NEW YORK Choice Hotels International has selected seven agencies to visit in a review of creative duties on its U.S. advertising account, confirmed Joanne Davis Consulting, the consultancy managing the process.

The shops include the incumbent, Havas’ Arnold in McLean, Va., according to Joanne Davis, principal of Joanne Davis Consulting in New York. Davis declined to identify the others.

Based on the visits, Choice will select three or four finalists. The Silver Spring, Md.-based client hopes to select an agency by early July.

The assignment includes traditional, digital and promotional efforts. Media duties, at Havas’ MPG in Boston, are not in play.

Choice has nearly a dozen hotel brands in its portfolio, including Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Econo Lodge, Clarion, Cambria Suites and Rodeway Inn.

Last year, Choice spent nearly $60 million in major measured media — about the same as in 2007 but down from 2006’s total of $75 million, according to Nielsen. Those figures do not include online spending.

Arnold has handled the Choice business since 2000. Its past work includes a campaign featuring Johnny Cash’s song “I’ve Been Everywhere” and another using the theme, “Thanks for traveling.”