NEW YORK: Following a multimillion-dollar competitive review that began at least six months ago, Hilton Worldwide's president of global brands Paul Brown confirmed, via statement, the company hired Edelman as its global AOR, as well as its AOR for Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts. According to sources close to the review, the business is worth around $3 million.
In the global AOR role, the agency will support Hilton HHonors, PR, and social media initiations for company-wide programs that cross all brands.
Sources told PRWeek that finalists for the global AOR account included Ketchum and Edelman. Other large agencies with global capabilities were included in the early review process.In September, HHonors and Hilton AOR incumbent Cohn & Wolfe told PRWeek the agency declined to participate in the review. At the time, the agency was the AOR for Hilton's DoubleTree and Hampton Inn brands.
During the global review, PRWeek learned that Hilton also issued RFPs in search of new AORs for the DoubleTree business, which went to Ketchum, and its luxury Waldorf and Conrad brands which went to Edelman.
The business will likely be dispersed amongst Edelman's global offices.
Sources explain that the company was looking for an agency that could support its plans for more global alignment, and the appointment follows media reports that Hilton plans to increase its marketing around its HHonors global loyalty program. In February, Brown told Marketing Week that in mid-March, the company will introduce global brand advertising and promotions as well as a redesign of the HHonors website.
Hilton would not elaborate on the review, and Cohn & Wolfe did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Edelman deferred comment to Hilton.