Wyndham Resorts Picks Harris Drury Cohen

Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown Places in $10 Mil.-Plus Ad Review
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Harris Dru-ry Cohen (HDC) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has checked into Dallas-based Wyndham Resorts as agency of record, besting another Florida shop in the final round of a review.
HDC was awarded the $10 million-plus advertising account after a shootout with Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown of Orlando.
Wyndham spending had been estimated at $5 million, but the client confirmed last week that the budget is expected to double in size.
“We’re very excited about Harris Drury Cohen joining us as a partner,” said Gary Pugatch, senior vice president of Wyndham. “They will help us redefine what Wyndham Resorts will be for the future.”
HDC and Wyndham’s resort division were in strategic meetings last week to determine what the media mix will be, and when the first advertising is ex-pected to break. The resort group currently has properties located throughout the United States and the Caribbean.
“This company is one of the most dynamic in the hotel business today,” said Stan Harris, president of HDC. “The industry is evolving rapidly, and Wyndham is definitely a player for the long term. They have a unique vision with strong resources.”
Twenty shops from around the country were originally invited to compete for the Wyndham business before the field was reduced to the two finalists, The Zimmerman Agency of Tallahassee, Fla., and The Richards Group of Dallas.
Richards, the agency of record for Wyndham Hotels and Wyndham Garden Hotels, also handles corporate branding chores for the company. Pugatch previously told Adweek that Richards’ existing business will not be affected.
Harris Drury Cohen was helped by its experience in the travel and tourism category, a trait that was not lost on the client.
“The hospitality industry is changing,” said Mack Koonce, executive vice president of marketing for the client. “[The agency] showed us the innovative thinking, particularly in the strategic marketing, media and creative areas, to grow our brand to be an upscale leader.”