Gotham Preps Best Western Push

Gotham is expected to launch its first ads for Best Western in the first quarter of next year, following the Interpublic Group shop’s appointment this month.

The shop became the Phoenix-based hotel chain’s lead creative agency after a review in which Havas’ Arnold and incumbent ISM, both in Boston, also participated.

Major media spending on the brand exceeded $20 million last year and totaled $17 million in the first eight months of 2009, according to Nielsen. Those figures don’t include online spending.

Best Western’s previous lead agency was independent ISM in Boston, which also participated in the review. ISM had worked on the brand since 2006.

Media duties were not in play and remain at IPG’s Initiative in San Diego.

Other Gotham clients include Maybelline, Hitachi, Sony Ericsson, Lindt and Fresh Direct.

The New York shop also is a finalist in Pizza Hut’s $275 million creative review, along with IPG’s The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, Omnicom Group’s Merkley + Partners in New York and MDC Partners’ Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners, also in New York.

Nielsen Business Media