Red Roof Begins Creative Review

“Allegiance” proved fleeting at The Richards Group last week, after client Red Roof Inns put its creative account up for review.

Nine requests for proposals were sent to agencies nationally, including shops in California, Chicago, New York, Atlanta and Dallas, according to a source close to the process. The review is said to be limited to those shops that have received questionnaires.

The Dallas agency had created print and radio ads encouraging guests to “Pledge allegiance to The Roof” during its two-year tenure with the client.

The campaign was based on customer studies showing 98 percent of visitors to the economy-class hotel chain planned to make repeat visits.

“We are disappointed that we have not met their expectations for a creative campaign,” said Richards principal Rod Underhill. “But there’s no bad blood between us. We’re cooperating and helping them develop the list of agencies.”

Media planning and buying will remain with Richards, he added.

Richards had been given the Red Roof brand without a review based on its previous success with Motel 6, another chain owned by Accor Economy Lodging.

French-owned Accor purchased Dallas-based Red Roof in 1999.

Richards is now in its 15th year of handling advertising for Motel 6. Its award-winning creative work for that chain features the voice of Tom Bodett and the “We’ll leave the light on for you” tagline.

Agency sources said that the Red Roof review could also lead to a reassessment of Motel 6. Client representatives could not be reached for comment at press time.

Richards also handles some smaller projects for Studio 6, the third branch of Accor’s economy-class holdings.

Red Roof operates more than 330 properties, primarily in the Southeast, East and Midwest.

The hotelier spent $8 million on measured media last year and nearly $3 million on advertising during the first quarter of 2001, according to CMR.