In a global battle of incumbents, the project shop rose up.
MEC, an agency that worked on projects for Marriott International in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, will now take on the hotelier's global planning and buying business with estimated media spending of $80 million. The assignment includes digital media responsibilities.
Four shops pitched the business—Carat, ZenithOptimedia, Starcom, and MEC—and in the end, the contest was between MEC and ZenithOptimedia, the incumbent in the Asia-Pacific region. Carat handled Marriott's U.S. account and Starcom the Latin American account.
Marriott launched the review in July. Joanne Davis Consulting in New York managed the process.
The review did not include paid search marketing, now at Publicis Modem and other shops, or Marriott's creative business, which is split between mcgarrybowen and Team One.