Pitch Update: Travelodge in agency talks

Qatar, Unilever, On the Beach, Travelodge
Qatar, Unilever, On the Beach, Travelodge

Travelodge has approached agencies about a brief, while Visit Qatar is looking for a global ad agency and Unilever concluded its mega global media review.


In a sign that the economy is looking up, Travelodge is speaking to advertising agencies about a strategy brief. It is understood that the budget hotel operator is not looking to commission any advertising just yet, although agencies might be hoping the opportunity could evolve into a full account.

A Travelodge spokesman said: “​​Travelodge constantly reviews its brand strategy, and consulting with prospective agencies forms part of this process. Should there be any future developments, we will communicate at the appropriate time.”

The pandemic hit the Travelodge business and led to tensions with its landlords after it tried – and ultimately succeeded – in reducing rents. However, in May the company said it has plans to open 17 new hotels, including in Peckham, Whitney and Rochdale, this year.

The & Partnership has previously worked with Travelodge, most recently through its content arm AllTogetherNow, but stopped working with the brand amid the turmoil of the pandemic.

The Travelodge spokesman declined to comment on whether it had any ongoing agency relationships.

Visit Qatar, the tourism office of the Middle East emirate, is looking for an agency to create a global ad campaign.

It is thought to be looking to promote itself as a holiday destination ahead of the 2022 World Cup, which, in a break from the norm, is taking place in November next year due to the extreme temperatures of the Qatari summer. 

Whether Qatar is seeking either to emulate or distance itself from Dubai, which recently released some action film-style ads by Mother London, is not known.

Visit Qatar’s press office did not return Campaign’s request for comment.

Ongoing pitches

On the Beach might have just released another ad starring Iggy Pop staring wistfully into the distance – this time to promote its free Covid tests – but the agency execs involved in its advertising review will have their heads down working ahead of the pitches next week.

In the running for the account are Mother, Bartle Bogle Hegarty London, New Commercial Arts and Quiet Storm. 

Campaign hopes the agency staffers involved were able to get away to a Mediterranean coastal resort in the name of research. 

On the Beach split with Uncommon Creative Studio earlier this year. Its chief customer officer Zoe Harris is running the review.


Unilever, the FMCG giant behind Lynx, Dove and Ben & Jerry’s, has concluded its $3.3bn global media pitch.

WPP's Mindshare retained the lion’s share of the business up for review including the US, UK and Ireland, Netherlands and Belgium, the Nordics, Italy, Eastern Europe, South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka) and Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam). 

Omnicom’s PHD made the most conversions – winning Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Canada from WPP, and North Africa and the Middle East at the expense of incumbent Interpublic. PHD also retained Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Taiwan. 

Havas Media emerged victorious in France and Spain, which WPP previously held, and IPG’s Initiative retained Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Greece.

Not all regions were included in the review. Mindshare handles China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan); IPG has business in Latin America; Unilever's Japanese media is handled by Asatsu-DK, and the Turkey pitch has not concluded.

Count Us In, a partnership between TED and Leaders’ Quest that launched last year and aims to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, has appointed Elvis as its lead global creative agency. Elvis beat two other agencies in a competitive pitch.

Elvis will work with Count Us In and its strategic partner agency Something More Near to develop a brand campaign with the objective of inspiring one billion citizens to take practical steps in order to reduce their carbon pollution.

It is the first major campaign the brand has undertaken and will initially go live in the UK in 2022. 

Ecommerce fashion and sports retailer MandM Direct has appointed Atomic London as its lead creative agency for the UK and Europe, following a four-way pitch led by AAR. Atomic is MandM Direct’s first creative agency of record. The brand previously handled all communications in-house. 

The appropriately named Birmingham-based branding agency Orb has won an on-going contract for a brand-building campaign for Japanese battery manufacturer GS Yuasa without a pitch. There is no incumbent – this is the first time Yuasa has outsourced its UK work.

Let's hope they power work that shines a spotlight on the brand.

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