Bank of America Taps LVL Interactive for Web

By Joan Voight

SAN FRANCISCO–LVL Interactive has been awarded the corporate Internet assignment for Bank of America. The San Francisco-based banking and financial services company hired the agency, which is owned by the same parent as LVL Advertising, without a review.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based agency was a runner-up in the search for another, more targeted interactive assignment from BofA last year, which helped the shop land the corporate work. ‘When this new assignment became available, bank executives turned to LVL,’ based on the agency’s strong ideas of how Internet technology could be used to extend the company’s message, said Steve Venuti, president of LVL Interactive.

Previously, the bank’s Web site work had been farmed out on a project-by-project basis, according to sources.

Billings for the new assignment are undisclosed but are estimated at $4-6 million. The agency has assigned five of its 20 employees to work on the BofA program, Venuti said.

The work will involve upgrading and expanding the bank’s Web site so it can serve as a tool to provide information to the corporate and retail audience,Venuti said.

The BofA Internet channel division that hired LVL coordinates the various bank units that seek to market their products on the Web, he explained. The assignment does not include the company’s on-line banking program.

The interactive shop has not met with the bank’s lead advertising agency, Deutsch, but will be expected to work within the brand guidelines established by BofA and the ad agency, said an LVL representative. New positioning established by Deutsch will need to be incorporated into the client’s Web site, he observed.

Officials at BofA’s Internet division were unavailable to provide comment at press time.

BofA currently is conducting a review of three buying firms for the media portion of its general advertising account. A decision is expected this month. Since winning the ad account earlier this year, Deutsch’s New York and Los Angeles offices have been temporarily overseeing media planning and buying until a media agency is selected.

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