Agencies vie for Inter-Continental

The upmarket business hotel chain Inter-Continental is looking for

an agency to handle a global advertising push fuelled by a spend in

excess of £10 million.

The brand is talking to UK agencies through the AAR about raising its

global profile. The account has been dormant for a number of years.

Inter-Continental is the most recently acquired brand in a wide

portfolio of hotels owned by Six Continents Hotels, which used to be

known as Bass Hotels in the UK. The company also owns the Crowne Plaza

and Holiday Inn brands. Inter-Continental was bought in 1998 from the

Japanese group Saison specifically to give Six Continents a footing in

the luxury business hotel sector.

The agency hunt is being headed by the brand's vice-president, Paul


He said: "Since the brand was bought, we have been working to improve

its range of hotels. Now is the time to go out and tell the world about

it." He did not reveal agency names but said he hoped to have a result

by Christmas.

Travissully handles the pan-European ad account for Six Continents after

winning the £3 million business earlier this year and the accounts

for each brand within the group are handled by a roster of agencies. The

global pitch is not thought to affect travissully's hold on the parent


Last year, the Inter-Continental brand spent £150,000 above the

line, through Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, the account's incumbent. Chris

Pinnington, the managing director of Euro RSCG, said the agency had not

done any significant work for the brand for more than two years. He

stressed it was not yet clear whether Euro RSCG would repitch for the

global account.