Marriott International is reviewing advertising for flagship brand, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, according to sources.
The brand's annual media spending is estimated at $15 million.
The incumbent, mcgarrybowen in New York, is expected to defend. The agency, which also handles a half-dozen other Marriott brands, declined to comment.
Media planning and buying on the base brand is not in play and remains at MEC. Last year, Marriott consolidated its global media business at the WPP Group shop after a review.
Joanne Davis Consulting managed the media search and is working on this one as well. The New York-based consultancy had no comment and referred calls to Marriott, which acknowledged the review but declined to discuss specifics.
Among the key decision-makers in the process is Susan Thronson, svp of global marketing.
The hotel chain's other brands including Courtyard by Marriott, Renaissance, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn and Ritz-Carlton.
Total media spending across all properties exceeded $45 million last year, down from about $54 million in 2010, according to Nielsen. Those figures don't include online spending.
Mcgarrybowen's relationship with Marriott dates back to 2003. Before that, McCann Erickson in New York was the company's lead agency.