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
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
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