3 Shops Vie for Hotels.com’s Business

Winner will succeed Young & Rubicam as lead creative agency

Three shops are preparing final presentations in their bids to replace Young & Rubicam as lead creative agency for Hotels.com.

Sources identified the finalists as Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Boulder, Colo., Arnold in Boston and Leo Burnett in Chicago. Media spending on the brand totals nearly $40 million a year.

The Chicago office of Y&R defended but failed to reach the final round, according to sources. The WPP Group agency has handled the business since 2009.

Media planning and buying are not in play and remain at TargetCast. Ark Advisors in New York is managing the search.

Ark did not return calls and Hotels.com, a Dallas-based unit of Expedia, had no immediate comment.

Final pitches are slated for mid-October, with a decision expected shortly thereafter.