ATLANTA: InterContinental Hotels Group, which owns brands including Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, is reviewing PR agencies within WPP Group to handle all corporate and brand communications in the Americas.
The global hotel company expects to choose a new agency partner for the Americas from WPP by mid-October, said Francie Schulwolf, VP of corporate communications for IHG.
“We're looking at credentials of the various agencies within WPP to decide which is the best match for IHG in the Americas,” she said.
WPP's PR agencies include Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Burson-Marsteller, Ogilvy Public Relations, and Cohn & Wolfe, among others.
It is understood that the account is in the seven-figure range.
IHG has worked with Weber Shandwick, an Interpublic Group agency, in the Americas for five years.
“We've been very proud of our association with IHG and the work we've done supporting some of its brands,” said Weber Shandwick president Andy Polansky. “We have great experience in this category.”
Schulwolf said IHG is "excited" about bringing on a WPP firm because "it's going to be a great opportunity" for the company. She added that the "relationship with Weber couldn't have been better.”
The switch to a WPP firm is part of a larger global positioning effort for IHG, which consolidated its worldwide marketing roster to a WPP team in July.“We're a global company with a global strategy and global brands, so looking at WPP as our global partner and finding greater alignment amongst everything we do in the marketing side, whether it be PR, digital, or advertising, makes a lot of sense,” explained Schulwolf.
She added that having WPP firms across all disciplines will “provide much greater alignment as we start looking at strategic plans for 2013 and moving forward.”