5 Months, 5 Rivals, $5 Mil. Win for KB&P West

LOS ANGELES Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners West has been tapped to handle advertising for student loan provider Chela Financial, the agency said.

The San Francisco independent won the business after a five-month review. The other contenders were AKQA, Amazon Advertising, Publicis Dialog and Young & Rubicam, all in San Francisco, the client said. The incumbent, Wolf Group in Buffalo, N.Y., did not participate in the review, the client said. Billings are $5 million.

KB&P West is charged with developing image and product advertising, which will include print, online and direct mail components. The San Francisco-based client had focused on the secondary student loan market in the past, but now offers federal and private education loans and year-round scholarship programs direct to consumers.

“Chela Financial is a passion brand that has a real sense of mission and advocacy,” said Nigel Carr, managing partner and general manager of KB&P’s West Coast office, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be working with them, and see a huge opportunity to do some powerful emotional communications in a category that is typically overly rational.”

The shop’s first work for Chela is slated to launch in January 2004.

KB&P West claims $75 million in billings through its 40-person San Francisco office. Its clients include Cisco, BBC America, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Vegas.com, VolunteerMatch and Wabi Inc.