LONDON: Accor, a France-headquartered group behind 3,500 hotels in 92 countries, has launched a hunt for a corporate agency to raise its profile in the UK.
The company is in talks with a shortlist of agencies for a newly created account ahead of pitches beginning this week.
Accor owns several hotel brands, including the mid-range chains Novotel and Mercure.
It is understood that the focus will be on using press to increase awareness of the group, which is strongest in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
One executive with insight into the hotel industry saw challenges for any agency taking on the work.
"Without a doubt, the brands in their stable are stronger than they are image-wise," the source said. "Accor is doing well, and in that it is expanding but is not necessarily seen as an innovator, with a mix of brands covering a level of quality that will be challenging to pull together."
Accor reported a net profit of €126 million last year, about $175 million, a turnaround from a loss of €599 million (approximately $830 million) in 2012 blamed on the decision to divest in US chain Motel 6.
The corporate pitch will not affect Accor’s consumer account handled by Mason Williams, which manages all UK consumer PR for brands excluding Sofitel, an account overseen by PRCo.
This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.