GSD&M and Deutsch withdrew from Promus Hotel Corp.'s 3-month-old agency review, which leaves five shops in contention for the estimated $40 million account.
Still in the running are Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Arnold Communications, both in Boston; TBWA Chiat/Day, New York; Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago; and DDB Needham Dallas.
GSD&M, the incumbent on Promus' $16 million Doubletree account, decided to pull out shortly before its final presentation last week, according to president Roy Spence. He declined to comment on the reasons.
According to sources, however, GSD&M opted not to defend due to concerns that the account might shift from branding ads to price-driven promotional work.
Deutsch also said it had withdrawn. The New York-based agency made the decision to redirect its energy toward existing clients, such as Mitsubishi, sources said.
DDB Needham is the incumbent for Promus' Hampton Inns, Hampton Inn & Suites, Embassy Suites and Homewood Suites chains. Combined spending for those brands was
$21 million in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
DDB Needham made its presentation to Promus executives in Memphis, Tenn., last week. The remaining presentations are expected to conclude this week.
Promus executives could not be reached at press time.
The client has not indicated if the business will remain split or be combined at a single agency.