Hotel, restaurant and leisure group Whitbread is consolidating its &£10m media planning and buying account into Starcom UK.
Previously, Whitbread’s portfolio of brands used up to ten different agencies, with “few formal contractual arrangements”, according to the company. Starcom has been appointed after an internal review rather than a competitive pitch.
The consolidation is designed to ensure that Whitbread can exploit its group-wide buying power. Whitbread’s brands include budget hotel chain Premier Travel Inn, Brewer’s Fayre and Beefeater restaurants, David Lloyd Leisure fitness clubs, restaurant-bar chain TGI Friday’s and Costa Coffee.
Starcom already handles the &£8.2m media planning and buying account for Pizza Hut, in which Whitbread has a stake, and has done online buying for Premier Travel Inn and project work for Beefeater.
Other media agencies working with Whitbread brands include OMD UK on Premier Travel Inn, Booth Locket Makin Clilverd on David Lloyd Leisure and Austin West Media on Beefeater, Brewer’s Fayre and TGI Friday’s.
Whitbread recently appointed St Luke’s to its advertising roster to work on the Beefeater account. Other advertising agencies used by the company include Mustoes and Heresy.
Whitbread recently reported a pre-tax profit of &£263.5m, with group sales up 6.8 per cent to &£2.1bn. It has just placed its Marriott hotels into a joint venture with Marriott International, with a view to selling up entirely.