Hilton is to slash agency spending

Leisure giant Hilton Group is to overhaul its PR agency relationships for its hotels division in a move set to result in cutbacks for the 27 PR agencies the company uses across the globe.

Hilton director of corporate affairs Alex Pagett said the cost-cutting review was being undertaken for ‘efficiency’ reasons, and that overall PR spend was likely to be reduced, with the review expected to last throughout 2004.

It is understood that Hilton spends around £1.5m a year on PR agencies for its 400-plus hotels, with around half of that in fees, and that the review is likely to see the overall agency PR budget cut by a third.

Pagett said he had yet to identify Hilton International’s agency needs, adding: ‘We all have responsibilities to keep costs under control.’

Pagett oversees PR across the UK and Ireland, Europe, Middle East and Africa, as well as the Asia-Pacific and Americas regions, excluding North America.

He said he would meet regional PR directors in March to discuss PR needs in each territory and he planned to set up ‘pools of expertise’ in each region that would offer ‘value for money’.

Pagett joined the group almost two years ago (PRWeek, 22 March 2002).

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