$145 Mil. Wachovia Business Moves to Ogilvy Team

NEW YORK Wachovia Corp. has selected a team led by WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather to handle creative and media duties on its ad account after a review, Wachovia confirmed today.

Major media spending on the brand totaled $145 million last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Wachovia has declined to disclose how much it would spend on media moving forward, but in a statement today noted that its outlay “would likely be smaller in 2009 compared to 2008 given market conditions.” New work will likely launch in the first half of next year.

Ogilvy here bested a team led by sister shop Young & Rubicam in New York to win the business. The selection came after a final round of meetings between client and agency executives in New York on Wednesday, according to sources.

“Selecting one of the premier ad agencies in the world should be viewed as a strong indication of our focus on future growth,” said Art Smith, head of Global brand marketing at Wachovia.

“Wachovia is a quintessential American brand with huge growth potential,” said Carla Hendra, co-CEO of Ogilvy North America and chairman of Ogilvy’s flagship office in New York. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Wachovia marketing team as they design a brand strategy for the long term that will translate to competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

Late last week, the Charlotte, N.C., bank narrowed the contest to Ogilvy and Y&R, eliminating Omnicom Group’s Merkley + Partners here. A team led by Interpublic Group’s Lowe in New York had been cut in an earlier round.

Ogilvy pitch partners Maxus, Neo@Ogilvy and Soho Square, all in New York, will handle traditional media planning and buying, digital media duties and credit card creative duties, respectively, according to a Wachovia representative.

The winning team succeeds IPG’s Mullen in Winston-Salem, N.C. — the incumbent for traditional creative and media duties — and Aegis Group’s Carat in Boston, which has handled interactive creative and media duties.

Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., managed the search.

This story updates an item posted earlier today with quotes from Wachovia and Ogilvy and additional details about the assignment.