Priceline.com Puts Out Feelers

Client Said to Be Looking Beyond Hill, Holliday to New York
By Judy Warner and Kathleen Sampey
NEW YORK–Just weeks after launching a new campaign with actor William Shatner, Priceline.com is exploring other creative resources beyond incumbent Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, sources said.
Priceline has contacted one New York shop and is said to be interested in another. It is believed that a select number of shops, possibly only two, will make presentations in a matter of weeks.
A client official said Priceline was seeking to “broaden its presence in the marketplace,” but added, “The account is not in review.”
Hill, Holliday’s campaign broke Jan. 1. In it, Shatner “sings” 1970s songs in front of a hip, young audience, weaving in plugs for Priceline.
The name-your-own-price Internet company in Norwalk, Conn., hired the Boston shop last July after a lengthy review. Billings are estimated at $60 million.
Two weeks ago, the company installed a new chief marketing officer, Michael McCadden, who joined Priceline from Gap Inc. Direct.
McCadden replaces Paul Breitenbach, part of the review committee that hired Hill, Holliday.
McCadden could not be reached but the representative said, “Michael is looking at ways to broaden our advertising into other areas. That is not a comment on the current work or on Hill, Holliday. We are having a tremendous response to the Shatner ads.”
Hill, Holliday met with the client last week to explore new ways to use Shatner, who swapped his services for shares. On Friday, Priceline closed down 7 percent to $59 5/8. Over 52 weeks, it has climbed to $164 and dipped as low as $45 1/2.–with Andrew McMains