Choice Hotels Names Finalists in Interactive Agency Search

NEW YORK – Choice Hotels International has selected two agencies to participate in the final round of its interactive review for its U.S. digital business, according to Laura Bajkowski of Bajkowski + Partners, the agency search consultant.

The agency finalists are imc2 of Dallas, Tx, and Organic, which has mounted a multi-office pitch with San Francisco and New York sharing the lead. Choice Hotels’ incumbent agency, Agency.com declined to participate.

The assignment includes interactive media and creative for Choice’s ten brands: Cambria Suites, Clarion, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotels, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn. All SEO/SEM duties have been taken inhouse and will be handled by Choice’s Phoenix-based eCommerce department.

Choice’s interactive spend has not been disclosed.

Havas’ Arnold, McLean, Va and MPG, Boston, Ma retained lead agency duties on traditional creative and media respectively. This relationship has been in place since January 2001. The new interactive agency will be expected to leverage the current tagline, “We’ll See You There” and integrate the media and creative plans with the work from the Havas’ agencies.

A decision on an agency is planned within the next few weeks.

About Choice Hotels International

Choice Hotels International is one of the world’s largest lodging franchisors, marketing more than 5,000hotels open or under development in 43 countries under the Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, MainStay Suites and Rodeway Inn brand names. For more information on Choice, visit the company’s web site at www.choicehotels.com. Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, MainStay Suites, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn are proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International.

About Bajkowski + Partners

Headquartered in New York City, Bajkowski + Partners is a specialized consulting firm providing global and regional clients with marketing management and agency search consulting services that deliver customized solutions to today’s business challenges. Laura Bajkowski is managing principal of Bajkowski + Partners and can be reached at [email protected] or ++212.226.3919.

©2007 Bajkowski + Partners. All Rights Reserved.

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Choice Hotels Names Arnold Worldwide As New AOR

Choice Hotels International, Inc. today announced it has chosen Arnold Worldwide/Washington as its agency of record to handle its estimated $35-40 million integrated advertising account.

“We believe Arnold Worldwide demonstrated its ability to produce a strategically sound, long-term campaign that will deliver well against our key marketing objectives,” said Wayne W. Wielgus, senior vice president, marketing. “We were fortunate to be able to select among several top-flight agencies, with Arnold showing convincing strength in its strategic approach and its capability to provide Choice with a compelling voice in a highly competitive business.”

The choice of Arnold follows a three-month agency review. Other finalists included Averett Free Ginberg, Bozell Kamstra and Deutsch, all of New York. The agency will begin work immediately on creating a new marketing campaign that will begin in advance of the summer travel season.

“We are delighted to partner with Choice Hotels and look forward to working with them on building their brands globally,” said Ken Umansky, president, Arnold Worldwide/Washington.

The agency search was managed by Bajkowski + Parnters, a New York based marketing management and agency search consultancy.

About Choice Hotels

Choice is the world’s second largest hotel franchisor, franchises more than 5,000 hotels in 41 countries under the Comfort, Quality, Clarion, Sleep, Econo Lodge, MainStay Suites and Rodeway Inn brands. For more information on Choice, visit choicehotels.com

About Arnold Worldwide

Based in McLean, Virginia, Arnold Worldwide/Washington is the area’s largest full service advertising agency with 150 employees and 2000 billings of $165 million. Arnold Worldwide/Washington services such leading global and regional clients as: USInternetworking, Manugistics, PNC Bank, ExxonMobil, OneMain.com, Sallie Mae, Dominion Resources, McDonalds and Cort Furniture. Headquartered in Boston, Arnold Worldwide, the United States agency of Arnold Worldwide Partners, is owned by Havas Advertising, the world’s fourth largest communications group.

About Bajkowski + Partners

Headquartered in New York City, Bajkowski + Partners is a specialized consulting firm providing global and regional clients with marketing management and agency search consulting services that deliver customized solutions to today’s business challenges. Laura Bajkowski is managing principal of Bajkowski + Partners and can be reached at [email protected]‐Partners.com or ++212.226.3919.

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Choice Identifies Four Agency Finalists

SILVER SPRING, Md., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ – Choice Hotels International (NYSE: CHH), worldwide franchisor of Comfort, Quality, Clarion, Sleep, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn and MainStay Suites brand hotels, has narrowed to four the number of agencies under consideration to assume its consumer advertising account, estimated at $35-40 million.

Chosen as finalists from 12 agencies that responded to Choice’s request for proposals are Arnold Worldwide, Avrett Free Ginsberg, Bozell Kamstra and Deutsch. All are New York-based with the exception of Arnold Worldwide, which is located in Washington.

The four finalists will present to Choice executives in late January. According to Wayne W. Wielgus, Choice’s senior vice president of marketing, a final selection will be made immediately following.

Gray Kirk van Sant, Choice’s incumbent agency, has declined participation in the agency review process.

“Choice Hotels and Gray Kirk van Sant enjoyed a 19-year relationship,” said Wielgus. “We appreciate their contribution to the success of our brands and wish them the best in all future endeavors.”

According to Wielgus, the primary criterion for agency selection is the ability to build strong consumer images and grow business for Choice and its brands, both domestically and internationally. “The agency we ultimately select will have franchising and multiple-brand experience and the ability to build breakthrough creative around our brand strategies,” he said.

Bajkowski + Partners, a New York-based agency search consulting firm, is handling the review for Choice.

Choice Hotels International is one of the world’s largest lodging franchisors, with more than 5,000 hotels open or under development in 41 countries. For more information on Choice or its seven brands, visit choicehotels.com

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