Ritz-Carlton Opens Review for $10M-$15M Account

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The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC begins a nationwide search for an advertising agency after ending its contract by year-end with Sawyer, Riley, Compton.


A new agency will take over in time to prepare for the Chevy Chase, MD-based luxury hotel chain's 2005 marketing planning process. The account is valued at $10 million to $15 million yearly.


Sawyer, Riley, Compton was Ritz-Carlton's agency for the past six years. The decision to switch agencies comes after the chain said it had become a different entity and that its needs had changed.


Based in Atlanta, Sawyer, Riley, Compton has prestigious accounts like The Coca-Cola Co., Comcast, Dow Chemical (Great Stuff), Goldkist Farms, Callaway, Turks & Caicos Club, CNN Newsource, Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Carter's and Jackson & Hardwick.


In recent years, Ritz-Carlton has more than doubled the number of its hotels from 26 to 56, adding extensions like spas, The Residences and The Ritz-Carlton Club. Marriott International owns the company.


Agencies interested in submitting proposals are required to understand Ritz-Carlton's two disparate constituencies, the hotels and the corporate brand. No experience in travel is necessary. But an understanding of luxury brand positioning is vital.


Also, Ritz-Carlton seeks an agency that is "data driven in terms of recommendations and direction," according to its request for information guidelines published on www.ritzcarlton.com/corporate/vendor.


The proposal submission deadline is April 2. The company said it will not take telephone calls or e-mails.


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