Doner Drops Red Roof

W.B. Doner & Co. has resigned the estimated $10 million Red Roof Inns account due to disagreements over compensation, said Alan Kalter, chief executive officer of the agency in Southfield, Mich.
“They have some business problems,” Kalter said. “I’m not sure what they’re going to do for 1998, but I think it’s going to involve whatever is the least-cost method.”
Red Roof Inns will now take a “menu-driven” approach to advertising, using different suppliers for creative, production, media buying and other services, said Stephen Parker, who took over in May as Hilliard, Ohio-based Red Roof’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. He said he hopes to select suppliers of the various services within the next 30 days.
“Businesses change dramatically over the years,” Parker said. “We’ve been looking at how can we do business differently and try to figure out ways we might be able to improve on what we’re doing. [Marketing] is an area we honed in on and decided to try to give this [approach] a chance and see how it works.”
Kalter said he has been trying to resolve compensation issues for the last several months. The economy hotel chain has been working on 1998 plans, but the agency hadn’t begun any new creative work.
A fourth-quarter campaign developed by Doner was shelved due to budget constraints.
“The people who we built the brand with [at Red Roof] are all gone,” Kalter said. “We love the brand, but it’s more about relationships. It’s a different relationship, and theirs is a financially focused relationship.”
Red Roof Inns spent $8.5 million on advertising in the first six months of 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting.