IHG reviews global media

Carat, MPG and rivals get set to battle it out over stakes in IHG's media business.

InterContinental Hotels Group is reviewing its £80 million global media planning and buying account.

The review, which covers brands including Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental, may result in the consolidation of the business into one media network.

In Europe, Carat currently handles media duties for three of the IHG brands - Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Express by Holiday Inn. MPG is IHG's European agency on the InterContinental business and other brands such as Staybridge Suites.

The two European incumbents are expected to pitch for the global business and IHG has also approached rival networks to take part.

Carat captured its chunk of the account in 2006 after a final pitch against ZenithOptimedia. PHD was the previous UK incumbent on the business.

Last year, IHG - the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms - appointed McCann Erickson to handle its integrated creative business across Europe. The account covers advertising, direct marketing, point-of-sale and digital activity.

Part of the brief was to support a global rebrand of Holiday Inn, which revamped its logo and positioning. IHG is midway through an ambitious expansion plan in Europe. It is also working on developments in the Middle East, including an ambitious project in Abu Dhabi that is likely to include a luxury InterContinental hotel, due to open in 2011.