Booking giant Hotels.com has concluded a competitive review launched last fall by sending its North American planning and buying business to MediaCom, a company spokesperson confirmed this week.
The news marks a significant win for WPP, which is currently in the process of defending several major global accounts including CPG conglomerate Kimberly-Clark.
The initial stages of the review were managed by New York’s Ark Advisors and completed internally; the consultancy was not available for comment today. It is unclear at this time exactly which agencies pitched for the business. WPP’s Wavemaker network had previously run the business in Canada with MDC Partners’ CP+B and Assembly serving as incumbents in the U.S. The latter two agencies did not participate in the review.
“We are very happy to be partnering with Hotels.com, and [our] work has begun in earnest. The client joined us at CES, which was fun and productive,” said an agency spokesperson who confirmed that the account will be run out of the New York office.
“The way people travel today is really a lens through which we can see the radical changes in consumer behavior,” said MediaCom USA CEO Sasha Savic. “Whether it’s the inter-relationship between television and digital, or the role of image- and location-driven apps, or the ability to drive transactions directly from data-rich social pages, we’re already creating work that reflects these connections and will ensure that Hotels.com is the provider of choice.”
CP+B developed the brand’s now-signature Captain Obvious character after winning the account in 2013. Most recently, he campaigned to host the popular trivia game HQ.
The client spent approximately $174 million on paid media in the U.S. in 2016, according to Kantar Media. Estimates have Hotels.com spending around the same amount this year.