Updated: Embassy Suites Eyes 6

NEW YORK Six contenders have emerged in Hilton Hotels’ review of creative duties on its Embassy Suites brand, as another Hilton property, Doubletree, launches a creative review of its own, Hilton has confirmed.

The Doubletree search is said to be in its early stages. Major media spending on the brand, now at Interpublic Group’s DraftFCB in San Francisco, approached $15 million last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

DraftFCB referred calls to the client, who confirmed the search. In the Embassy Suites review, incumbent TBWA\Chiat\Day here is defending against fellow Omnicom Group units GSD&M Idea City in Austin, Texas, and BBDO in Atlanta, DraftFCB in San Francisco, Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi here and independent Amalgamated in New York, according to sources.

Final presentations are slated for mid-July. A client representative acknowledged that six shops were contending but declined to identify them.

The agencies either declined comment or could not be reached.

Major media spending on Embassy Suites totaled nearly $16 million in 2007, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Media duties, at Omnicom’s OMD in New York, are not in play.

Embassy Suites, which is based in Memphis, Tenn., operates 182 properties in the U.S., Canada and Latin America, according to EmbassySuites.com.

The brand’s top marketing executive is John Lee, vice president of marketing. He has held that title since 2001; between 1998 and 2001, he was senior director of marketing.

Other Hilton brands include Hilton, whose creative duties are handled by WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam in Irvine, Calif., and Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites, both of which are handled by DraftFCB in San Francisco.

Spending on Hilton, Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites totaled $27 million, $29 million and $4 million, respectively, in 2007, per Nielsen. Across all brands, the hotelier spent about $100 million in major measured media in ’07.

Last year, The Blackstone Group acquired the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Hilton, which operates more than 2,900 hotels and resorts in 76 countries, for an estimated $26 billion.

This story updates an item posted earlier today with the news that Doubletree has launched a review of its own. It also corrects the Embassy Suites contender to include Amalgamated. StrawberryFrog is not pitching that account.

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