$60 Mil. Hotels.com Talks to TargetCast

NEW YORK Independent TargetCast here is in final negotiations with Hotels.com to handle media chores on the client’s estimated $60 million ad account, per sources.

TargetCast competed against Horizon here, also an independent, and Publicis Groupe’s Optimedia in Seattle. Final presentations in the review took place two weeks ago.

Agency and client representatives either could not immediately be reached or declined comment.

Independent Doner in Southfield, Mich., the incumbent on both media and creative, did not defend.

The contenders in a parallel creative review, meanwhile, are slated to present next week at the client’s headquarters in Dallas. Competing for creative are Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi here, WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam in Chicago and Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day, said sources.

Hotels.com spent more than $60 million in major measured media last year and approximately $50 million in the first eight months of 2007, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The client retained Ark Advisors, the New York consultancy, to manage both