Travel website Orbitz is pulling its $61 million creative account out of Young & Rubicam, Chicago, the marketer confirmed today.

"We decided to part with Y&R and look for a new strategic partner," said an Orbitz spokesman.

The split with WPP Group's Y&R comes as Orbitz appears to be taking market share away from its rivals. Gross bookings were up 30% in the first quarter and 43% in the second quarter. They are expected to rise 28% to 30% for the third quarter when those results are announced later this month.

But the online-booking sector is becoming increasingly competitive, as existing players such as Expedia and Travelocity have boosted spending, and travel search aggregators such as Kayak and Sidestep have begun offering similar services. American Express recently announced plans for its own online-booking service. And the five major airlines that founded Orbitz in 2001 have seen traffic on their own websites climb, adding additional competition.

Get the full story at Advertising Age