GSD&M Checks Out Of Promus

Deutsch Also Decides to Leave Hotel Review
DALLAS–GSD&M and Deutsch have withdrawn from Promus Hotel Corp.’s agency review, leaving five shops in contention for the possible $40 million advertising account.
GSD&M, the Austin, Texas, incumbent on Promus’ $16 million Doubletree account, decided to pull out shortly before its final presentation last week, according to president Roy Spence. He declined to comment on the reasons.
Sources said GSD&M opted not to defend due to concerns that the account might shift from branding ads to price-driven promotional work. Promus executives could not be reached at press time.
“[Promus executive vice president of marketing] Tom Storey is a brilliant marketing person and I’m convinced we’ll work together again,” Spence said.
Deutsch also confirmed it had withdrawn. Sources said the New York-based agency made the decision to redirect its energy toward existing clients, such as Mitsubishi.
Still in contention are DDB Needham Dallas; Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Arnold Communications, both Boston; TBWA Chiat/Day, New York; and Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago.
DDB Needham is the incumbent for Promus’ Hampton, Embassy Suites and Homewood Suites chains. Combined spending for those brands was $21 million in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Presentations are expected to conclude this week. A decision is likely by mid-August. The client has not indicated if the business will remain split or be combined at one shop.
…..–Steve Krajewski