- The Washington Times - Monday, December 10, 2001

Choice Hotels International is on the move.The Silver Spring-based hotel franchiser is advertising its "Thanks for Traveling" slogan on trucks all over the country in an effort to get that message out to as many people as possible.
Choice hired truck-side advertising agency MediaVehicles based in Atlanta to put the yellow slogan on nearly 300 trucks. The trucks, which carry various products inside, are traveling along major highways, including Interstate 95.
It's part of Choice's overall $10 million advertising campaign to promote travel after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The company would not disclose how much is being spent on this portion of the campaign.
Choice's campaign is much broader in geographic scope than most of MediaVehicle's accounts.
Usually clients have ads put on trucks that will stay in a smaller area like a city or even in a neighborhood, says Pat Sherry, senior vice president of sales and marketing at MediaVehicles.
On average 35,000 to 40,000 people will see one truck in any given city. Depending on the length of the campaign and where the trucks will be traveling the cost ranges from $1,500 to $4,000 per truck.
Choice's slogan can be seen on trucks across the country for another month or so.

RVs go agency hunting
A recreational vehicles industry group is on the hunt for a new advertising agency.
The Go RVing Coalition, which represents the industry's dealers, campsites, manufacturers and suppliers, is in the process of narrowing down the number of agencies it will chose from to handle its three-year, $40 million account.
Eisner Communications of Baltimore is the incumbent agency. That contract expires in the spring but the agency is automatically a part of the final competition, says Gary LaBella, vice president of public relations and advertising for the Recreational Vehicle Industry of America, based in Reston.
The new contract will begin fiscal year 2003.
This week the number of agencies will be narrowed down to six. Those six firms will be interviewed in January and then narrowed down to three, Mr. LaBella says.
The three final agencies, along with Eisner, will make presentations on March 6 in Orlando, Fla., at the coalition's meeting.

Also under review
USA Education Inc., better known as Sallie Mae, is in the final stage of its agency review.
Two local agencies, District-based Adworks and Laughlin, Marinaccio & Owens in Arlington, join the MRA Group, based in Syracuse, N.Y., as the three finalists for the estimated $5 million to $7 million account.
The Reston-based agency, which provides education loans, will make its decision at the end of this week.
Arnold Worldwide, the incumbent agency, is not involved in the review.

New wins
O'Keeffe & Co. Inc., based in McLean, has been named public relations agency of record for Candle Corp., a systems management and business integration company based in El Segundo, Calif.
Stanton Communications Inc. of Baltimore has added three new accounts to its client list. New Horizons Computer Learning Center has hired the agency to handle public relations and marketing for its Baltimore operations. Stanton has also been tapped to handle marketing communications for Marinalife, an Internet-based marine reservation software company and public relations services for Wickford Technologies Inc., a technology transer firm.
MGH, a Baltimore-based full-service agency, has added another $1.5 million in billings including Port Discovery, Well-Screen and Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Co, as well as two new territories for Papa John's and Weight Watchers.
Planet Central, an agency with offices in Richmond and Westfield, N.J., has been retained by Allfinanz Inc., which provides Web-enabled technology to financial service institutions. Billings are worth about $1 million.

Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884 [email protected] Advertising & Marketing runs every other week.

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