Mullen Adds La Quinta

BOSTON Interpublic Group’s Mullen has been hired for marketing communications services by La Quinta, which operates some 575 hotels in the U.S. and Canada serving business and leisure travelers.

The agency’s office in Winston-Salem, N.C., will handle the creative assignment, while its MediaHub unit picks up buying and planning chores. The work encompasses both the La Quinta Inns and La Quinta Inns & Suites brands.

The Dallas-based client selected the shop following a review led by Mitchell & McCue, which is also based in that city.

Independent Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago resigned La Quinta late last year due to growing concerns over an emerging conflict with Hyatt Hotels, according to the shop [Adweek Online, Nov. 20].

La Quinta routinely spends about $10 million per year in measured media, while Hyatt spends more than twice that amount, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Recent ads from C-K offer humorous suggested translations for the chain’s name. For example, online efforts define “La Quinta” as “Spanish for free high-speed Internet.”

Mullen’s marketing programs for La Quinta will focus on the benefits of the company’s recent property renovations and various travel programs. A multimedia push is planned, with TV, radio, print, direct marketing and online elements in the mix.

“Travelers count on us for attractive rooms at exceptional prices; and they find comfort with us while on the road in the best locations nationwide,” said Julie Cary, CMO at La Quinta. “Mullen presented us with a refreshing perspective on our brand that will allow travelers to wake up to the new La Quinta.” Other review contenders were not disclosed.

Wenham, Mass.-based Mullen has lately enjoyed a new-business surge, winning the $50 million Orbitz business in November and adding other notable assignments from, and