DDB Wins Omni Hotels

DALLAS Omni Hotels has chosen Omnicom Group’s DDB to handle its advertising account, the shop said.

DDB’s Dallas office won the estimated $3 million creative and media business of the Irving, Texas-based client following a review that sources said included Rapp Collins, Square One and The Richards Group, all of Dallas.

Incumbent Campbell Mithun’s San Diego office, which has handled creative and media duties for the chain since 1995, declined an invitation to participate in the review, the shop said.

Omni was seeking an agency close to its headquarters, according to client vice president of marketing Caryn Kboudi, who joined Omni last April. “We needed to explore our options,” she said. “We had a long, healthy relationship with Campbell Mithun, but it was time to allow the executive team [at Omni] to work with an agency in our own backyard,” she said.

Agencies were asked to present a strategic and creative recommendation on how to drive revenue and market share growth for the chain, which has more than 40 hotels and resorts throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Kboudi said DDB “did an excellent job understanding the business challenges in the hospitality arena and had wonderful ideas that show we can go out and reach our critical audience in an efficient way.”

DDB’s campaign will primarily target meeting planners, corporate travel managers and business travelers through national print, direct marketing and promotional programs. Kboudi said television “at this junction doesn’t make sense for the brand.”

DDB managing director Janet Bustin said, “We think Omni is such a great brand with huge opportunities, and I think that what really worked for us is we demonstrated our ability to bring an understanding of the complexities of their business . . . and an ability to bring really smart and integrated solutions to bear on their challenges.”

The win comes a month after DDB lost the $5-10 million ad account of Hampton Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites in a review to Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago.

Omni spent $3 million on media in the first 10 months of 2002, according to CMR.