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


Choice Hotels Seeks New AOR In More Than 20 Years

Choice Hotels International has selected four agencies to participate in the final leg of its agency-of-record review for its U.S. advertising account, according to Laura Bajkowski of Bajkowski + Partners, the agency search consultant for Choice.

The agency finalists include Havas’ Arnold in McLean, VA, and NYC agencies Deutsch, Bozell and Avrett Free Ginsberg. Choice Hotels’ incumbent agency, Gray Kirk/VanSant declined to participate.

The assignment includes media and creative as well as emerging media for Choice’s nine midscale and economy brands: Clarion, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, MainStay Suites, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn.

The account is estimated at $40-$50 million in measured media.

Wayne Wielgus, who recently joined Choice as senior vice president of marketing, felt that given Choice’s new business and marketing objectives, it was time for the hotel chain to review all of its marketing suppliers. GKV had been Choice’s AOR for more than two decades.

A decision on an agency is planned for early February.

About Choice Hotels International

Choice Hotels International is one of the world’s largest lodging franchisors, marketing more than 5,000 hotels 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

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 or ++212.226.3919.

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