Bank of Diverse Means Seeks Market Integrator

Union Planters Bank has launched a nationwide review for its estimated $6 million advertising account.
About two dozen agencies have responded to the Memphis, Tenn., bank’s request for proposals, said UPB manager of advertising and public relations Tom Woodbery. The proposals were due Aug. 2.
Woodbery said he is no longer accepting proposals from agencies seeking to enter the competition. “The horse is already out of the barn,” he said.
Woodbery also confirmed that agencies outside of the bank’s 12-state marketing area in the Southwest, Southeast and Midwest are participating. Incumbent shop The Ramey Agency of Jackson, Miss., has been invited to defend.
The review follows the creation earlier this year of a new retail services group at the bank. Led by senior executive vice president Alan Kennebeck, the unit is responsible for centralized sales, marketing, training, distribution and governmental affairs.
Currently, marketing budgets are shared by the corporation and its local affiliates. According to a copy of the proposal obtained by Adweek, the client expects the budgets to become centralized in the near future. In the meantime, “this diverse group of clients means that our advertising agency must be skilled at major campaign development with the ability to serve local market advertising, public relations and sales promotion needs,” the questionnaire states.
The field of potential agencies will be narrowed to a handful of contenders by the end of the month, with a final decision planned for October, Woodbery said.
UPB operates a rapidly growing banking network with $34.2 billion in assets, ranking it 27th in the U.S..
In addition to traditional banking, the financial institution has increased its focus on products such as insurance, annuities, mutual funds and discount brokerage services.
“Our advertising agency will need to be conversant with this new world of financial services where our competition is fast becoming the national brokerage and insurance company as well as the bank across the street,” states the request for proposal.