Value-Oriented Hotel Chain in Talks With 3 Shops

Hampton Inn and Hamp ton Inn & Suites have initiated a creative review, with bill ings estimated at $5-10 million, sources said.

Contending are two Omnicom shops, incumbent DDB in Dallas and Martin/Williams in Minneapolis, and Interpublic Group’s Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago and Irvine, Calif., sources said. FCB handles media duties for all the brands of Hilton Hotels Corp., including Hampton.

Omnicom’s GSD&M in Austin, Texas, declined an invitation to participate, according to sources.

Sources said the Memphis, Tenn.-based client is currently meeting with the contenders and plans to make a decision in November.

While several sources said Hampton is holding the review to find a new agency, client representative Melissa O’Brien said the hotelier has preselected shops to vie only for a creative assignment. “We are always looking at agencies for different projects,” O’Brien said.

She said the assign ment could involve refreshing Hampton’s campaign or coming up with a new approach. The current tagline, “With you all the way,” is in its third year of use.

The chain positions itself as a choice for “value-conscious, quality-minded travelers” who want a moderately priced, clean hotel, according to the client’s Web site.

Hampton competes with Country Inns & Suites, Drury Hotels and Holiday Inn Express. With more than 1,100 Hampton Inn and Suites properties nationwide, the brand has more locations than any other in the Hilton system. Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Hilton owns, manages or franchises more than 2,000 properties.

In May, DDB doubled its Hampton business by taking on the chain’s promotional and online creative duties. The client recently launched its “Hit the Road” promotion, in which room charges are an average of 10 percent less than standard published rates at participating hotels.

While sources pegged spending at $5-10 million, CMR recorded about $15 million through June of this year.