Chase Agrees on I.D., Talks to Shops

NEW YORK With the impending merger of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Bank One nearly complete, the companies said the new entity will operate under the Chase brand.

Client executives also confirmed they are talking to “agency groups” from Omnicom, WPP and Interpublic Group, but did not elaborate [Adweek Online, May 26].

Bank One chairman and CEO James Dimon said in a statement, “Although we have built strong momentum for the Bank One brand, particularly during the past two years, the research was very clear that we will be better served by moving to the Chase brand. Ultimately, brands are built on performance.”

Fred Hill, executive vice president of marketing and communications for J.P. Morgan Chase, said the Bank One name will continue on certain products, but “those have not yet been determined. The next steps will be to choose an agency to help us select a positioning, identity design and then advertising,” Hill said.

He stopped short of using the word “review,” but said agencies have been contacted. He would not identify which agencies have been contacted.

Hill would not comment on media spending for the new entity’s advertising, but TNS Media Intelligence/CMR lists 2003 U.S. media spending for Bank One at $145 million; J.P. Morgan’s securities business at $15 million; and Chase banking at $20 million.

IPG’s Foote Cone & Belding in New York and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., are on the J.P. Morgan Chase roster. Executives at the agencies could not be reached for comment. Gardner Nelson & Partners in New York has handled Bank One. Executives there also could not be reached.

Hill said he is working with Jay Mandelbaum, evp of strategy and development for Bank One and who will be in charge of strategy for the combined entity, in the agency selection process.

The new brand, Chase, will include U.S. consumer and commercial banking businesses, credit card, home and auto finance, small business, middle market and mid-corporate banking.

The merger is expected to be completed by July 1.

The holding company will continue to be known as J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., headquartered in New York.

With the merger, Chase is expected to have upwards of 11 million retail banking customers, nearly 1 million small businesses customers and 31,000 commercial business clients through 2,300 branches in 17 states. It also will have 87 million credit cards issued.