Only on AgencySpy: BBDO’s Hotel Conflict of Interest

By Matt Van Hoven 

A spy pointed out that there’s a potential issue as a result of two of BBDO’s latest client pickups. Both wins were heavily reported in the trades, but until now the issue of BBDO taking on Hyatt and Embassy Suites seems to have gone under the radar.

No matter how BBDO will (undoubtedly) try to rationalize their decision to pitch both hoteliers, it’s just bad for business that both are on their roster.


More after the jump.

It all started on July 22 when AdWeek reported that BBDO in Atlanta would be taking over creative duties on the hotel’s ad business (Click here). Embassy is owned by the mucho famoso Hilton family (ed’s note: TBWA/Chiat/Day went home crying that day).

About a month later, BrandRepublic and AdWeek confirmed the other half of this puzzle; BBDO New York’s win of corporate image duties for the Pritzker family owned Hyatt chain.

In the AdWeek piece about Hyatt, commenter Mike Schwartz writes, “Didn’t bbdo also win embassy suites recently? Will this win affect that, if at all?” But short of that remark (and our lovely spy, Lola’s tip), we haven’t heard so much as a peep concerning this obvious conflict of interest.

What’s that thing people are always saying in situations like this? Oh yeah, “Tisk, tisk.”

Update: Let’s not forget that BBDO Atlanta and New York have a cozy relationship, sharing creatives, media buyers and the like. I wonder who gets what when it comes down to it. Embassy spent $15 million last year compared to Hyatt’s $40 million.

: Brian Morrissey of AdWeek informed us that his colleague, Andrew McMains wrote something on this issue a few weeks back. However, we have been unable to find a copy of that story, and Morrissey admits that there seems to be an issue with the AdWeek Web site. He remarked that McMains wrote “(BBDO would) win a cannes lion for tiptoeing around conflicts.”