Red Roof Drops Hill, Holliday for Richards

BOSTON For the second time in a week, Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos has apparently come out on the losing end of a client consolidation.

Red Roof Inn, a unit of French hospitality conglomerate Accor that had been handled by Hill, Holliday’s San Francisco office, has returned creative duties on its $10-12 million account to The Richards Group of Dallas, sources said.

One week ago, Terra Lycos moved the $20 million account of its Lycos Web portal from Hill, Holliday’s headquarters office here to WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather, New York. Ogilvy worked on the client’s Terra portal brand.

Hill, Holliday picked up creative chores for the 140-hotel Red Roof chain following a review in September 2001. Independently owned Richards had previously handled creative chores and continued to buy media for the hotelier. The shop also works for Accor’s Motel 6 brand.

Hill, Holliday executives could not immediately be reached. Officials with Richards and Red Roof did not return calls.

The agency had been scheduled this month to launch a new national print campaign for the client, following its first Red Roof work that broke last spring with the tagline, “Red knows the road.” That effort featured “Red,” a business-attired, bobblehead-style character with flaming red hair.

Red Roof’s departure is somewhat tempered by Hill, Holliday’s addition last week of the $5-10 million account of Tilia, a provider of vacuum-sealed food-storage systems, in its San Francisco office. The agency is also gearing up to pitch creative on the $150 million America Online account. Named as contenders in that competition along with Hill, Holliday last week were BBDO, DDB and Saatchi & Saatchi, all New York; Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami; and Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.