Travel Search Engine Kayak Mulls Trio

NEW YORK Travel search engine Kayak has selected three finalists to compete for creative and media duties on its ad account. The client projects future media spending at $40-60 million.

Kayak chief marketing officer Robert Birge identified the contenders as Omnicom Group units Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco and 180 in Santa Monica, Calif., and Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi in New York.

Client executives will brief the shops next week and final presentations are scheduled for mid-July at Kayak’s headquarters in Norwalk, Conn., according to Birge.

The finalists emerged from a field of five agencies that held meetings with Kayak. Birge declined to name the other shops.

Kayak’s past marketing efforts have been relatively modest. The Nielsen Co. showed no major media spending behind the brand last year and less than $1 million in 2007. That figure does not include online advertising.

The company’s last creative agency was independent The Brooklyn Brothers in New York, which worked on the brand in 2006. Media duties are handled in-house.

Launched in 2005, Kayak provides price and availability information for airlines, hotels, rental car companies and cruise lines by searching more than 100 different travel sites.

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