Scope Ketchum wins Hilton International PR

Hotel group Hilton International has picked Scope Ketchum to support its corporate PR strategy worldwide outside the US and Mexico. The account carries annual fees understood to be well into six figures.

Hotel group Hilton International has picked Scope Ketchum to

support its corporate PR strategy worldwide outside the US and Mexico.

The account carries annual fees understood to be well into six

figures.



Hilton International, which is owned by the Ladbroke Group, signed an

agreement with the separately owned US-based Hilton Hotel Corporation in

1997 to jointly promote the Hilton brand.



Hilton Hotel Corporation’s PR was handled in the UK by Barclay Stratton

until December 1997. The relationship with Barclay Stratton ended after

the joint promotion was agreed. Hilton International now handles PR for

the brand everywhere outside the US and Mexico.



Director of PR Hilary Baker said Hilton International initially looked

at a shortlist of ten agencies.



Scope Ketchum chief executive James Maxwell said: ’Our role is to

support Hilary Baker with strategic communications advice and some

implementation in the UK as Hilton builds on its position as the most

famous hotel brand in the world.’



The past 18 months have seen a burst of marketing activity at Hilton

International, both internally and externally, including the recruitment

last March of Baker from Hill and Knowlton (PR Week, 14 March 1997).

Baker reports to Morag McCay who was hired as vice-president of

marketing last December from car rental company Avis, and in April

Jonathan Sumner joined from United Airlines as brand communications

director. In February Bozell Worldwide was awarded the pounds 30 million

global advertising account.



The Hilton brand is present in 50 countries, with Hilton International

owning 167 hotels worldwide and the Hilton Hotel Corporation owning

253.



There have been rumours in the City and financial press that the link

between Hilton International and Hilton Hotel Corporation may be

formalised through an acquisition or merger. Baker dismissed the rumours

as ’speculation’.



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