Marriott International hands global media to MEC

Marriott International has appointed MEC as its lead global media agency.

Marriott: MEC wins global media account
Marriott: MEC wins global media account

The account covers both media planning and buying for all of Marriott's brands, including Marriott Hotels and Resorts, the Ritz-Carlton, and Marriott Rewards. The contract, still to be finalised and signed, will be effective from 1 November, reports Campaign Asia.

A wide range of agencies were invited to the pitch, which was announced in July. They included incumbent agencies who had been working on Marriott's media accounts on a project-by-project basis across geographies – Carat (in the US), Starcom (Latin America), ZenithOptimedia (Asia Pacific), and MEC (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa).

The pitch was later narrowed down to two finalist agencies, with MEC eventually winning over ZenithOptimedia.

Susan Thronson, senior vice president of global marketing said the organisation had been impressed with both finalists. She said: "Our decision came down to our confidence in the quality of the team, insights on our brands, and caliber of their global organisation. We believe MEC is the best fit for us."

Neither client or agency revealed the size of the deal, but research company Kantar has previously put Marriott's 2010 media spend at US$86m in the US alone.

Charles Courtier, global CEO of MEC, said he was "delighted" by the outcome. He said: "This pitch involved an exhaustive analysis of our network capability, our operating principles and the depth and breadth of our most valuable assets – our people.

"I am proud of our teams right across the world and we can't wait to get to work with our new client partners."

Marriott's creative agency partnerships remain in place, with lead agencies mcgarrybowen and Team One. Paid search marketing continues to be handled by Publicis.