Hotels.com is shifting creative duties on its account to the Chicago office of Young & Rubicam from TBWA\Chiat\Day here, sources said.
The move comes after client executives asked both Omnicom Group’s TBWA\C\D and WPP Group’s Y&R for ideas on the brand’s next campaign, said sources.
Hotels.com is said to have notified the agencies of the decision today.
TBWA\C\D and Y&R both declined comment and referred calls to the Dallas-based client, where reps could not immediately be reached.
Last year, the online hotel-booking site spent about $42 million in major measured media — down 32 percent from 2007’s total of $62 million, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Those figures do not include online spending.
TBWA\C\D landed the account in late 2007 after a review. The other finalists in that contest — which was managed by Ark Advisors in New York — were Y&R in Chicago and Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi in New York.
Back then, the selection reunited TBWA\C\D president Corey Mitchell and executive creative director Gerry Graf with Vic Walia, the client’s senior director of brand marketing. Before Hotels.com, Walia had been a senior marketing manager on Snickers at Mars, a key client of TBWA\C\D. Since then, however, both Mitchell and Graf have left and Hotels.com has installed a new president: David Roche.
The creative shift does not affect Hotels.com’s media account, which remains at independent TargetCast in New York, said sources.