Four Seasons Opens Global Review, Launches New Site


Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is conducting a global review of its advertising, media and CRM assignments. Previously, the client has not had a global agency of record. In the recent past, it used Mullen in the U.S. But the two parted ways about two years ago and Mullen is not participating in the review.

FSH&R, whose major investors include Bill Gates and Saudi Prince Walid bin Talal, spends an estimated $100 million on ads and other consumer marketing worldwide.

In a statement issued late Monday, the company said: "Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts confirmed the company has launched a search to find a network of agencies to deliver global marketing communications support across a number of disciplines and channels. The review will cover global brand and product support, local marketing support, CRM, creative design and media."

The company also confirmed that the AAR Group of London has been engaged as a consultant to assist with the agency search.
Word of the review comes shortly after the Toronto-based luxury hotel management group launched a new global Web site in which it invested an estimated $18 million.



The new site integrates social media content from Facebook, Twitter and TripAdvisor and includes new tools for making reservations online or mobile devices. One reason for the social media integration: Company research indicates that nearly 80% of affluent consumers participate in social media.

When the company unveiled the new Web site last week, Susan Helstab, executive vice president, marketing, stated: “Four Seasons has always provided an unparalleled hotel experience, and this level of service and engagement extends into our online presence."

Four Seasons operates nearly 90 hotels and resorts worldwide and has many more in development. It was founded in 1960.

Gates, through his investment company Cascade, and bin Talal purchased more than 90% of the company in 2007 for approximately $3.7 billion.

Despite the shaky economy, Four Seasons says that its research indicates that luxury travel was up 6% in 2011 versus the prior year. Its own online bookings were up 10%, it said.

Company reps declined to comment on the review. Consultant AAR is said to be assisting the company during the review process.

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