RCI: Global Review Won’t Affect Bates Midwest

3 New York Shops Pitch for Client’s Separate Strategy Assignment
CHICAGO–The relationship between Resort Condominiums International and Bates USA Midwest should remain intact, even though the time-share company’s global office is hearing pitches for a worldwide branding strategy, company officials said.
Bates USA Midwest has been agency of record for the RCI Americas office since January 1998. Both agency and client are based in Indianapolis. Bates’ Travel and Tourism Group in Atlanta, which reports to Indianapolis, is working on a new product introduction at RCI’s resorts and time-shares.
“We are satisfied with what they are doing,” said Peter Giamalva, chief marketing officer for RCI’s global office in Parsippany, N.J.
“Separate and distinct” from those arrangements, the RCI global office is looking for an agency to do worldwide market evaluations and strategic positioning, Giamalva said. “This is more of a strategic brand management exercise,” he said.
The finalists for that work are New York agencies Bates USA, Grey Advertising and Christy Macdougall Mitchell.
Bates USA Midwest chairman Dan Roman said his shop will be involved with its New York headquarters in the pitch early next month to RCI.
Giamalva said RCI plans to select an agency by the end of July.
RCI, a subsidiary of New York-based Cendant Corp., markets time-sharing vacation packages to over 2.5 million member families. It has an estimated $20 million global ad business.
Bates, which had been working with RCI Americas on a project
basis, absorbed the company’s in-house creative and production staff upon winning the account and hired additional staff to manage the business.
The decision to disband RCI’s in-house operation was made after the 25-year-old company was acquired by Cendant. The parent company owns many membership, travel and real estate services, including Avis, Century 21, Travelodge and Days Inn.