Marriott International just announced that it has placed the majority of its global media planning and buying business into what it described as a "closed review."
Incumbent shops — Carat (US), Starcom (Latin America), ZenithOptimedia (Asia Pacific) and MEC on a project basis (EMEA) — have been invited to participate.
Marriott said it expects to conclude the review and name its new media agency this fall.
"Our business has experienced positive growth and increased globalization during the past several years despite the dynamic changes and competition in the market," stated Susan Thronson, senior vice president-global marketing at Marriott, adding, "We want to ensure that we are capitalizing on the global opportunities ahead and working with the best global media agency partner to help us grow our business going forward. We have a responsibility to explore alternative agencies to either confirm we have the best media partner in one of our incumbents or to partner with a new media agency resource."
Marriott's creative account, handled primarily by Team One and McGarry Bowen, as well as paid search marketing, which is handled by Publicis Modem and other localized agencies around the world, are not affected by the review, nor are the agreements with other creative and specialized agencies globally.
Marriott said Joanne Davis Consulting, New York, is handling the media agency search process.