Citibank May Deposit Direct Business With Single Agency

NEW YORK – Citibank, which moved earlier this summer to centralize most of it business efforts, wants to do the same with its direct-marketing activities, according to insiders.
After contacting roughly six agencies and direct shops, Citibank is talking to three agencies about handling most of its direct-mail activities now spread out on a project basis between dozens of agencies. New York shops Lowe Direct; and FCB/Direct; along with Chicago-based Cramer-Krasselt are said to be pitching what could be a $7-million direct account.
None of the agencies would comment last week.
But Citibank is expected to move quickly in naming either one or two firms to handle the direct business. Insiders say the company believes there are too many efforts going out without a consistent message and that Citibank is looking to tie its efforts together.
According to Bert Einloth, managing director of U.S. marketing for the company, Citibank has moved to put many of its business processes under one umbrella.
‘We haven’t had an agency-of-record before and we are looking to try and determine to see if that’s a good step to take,’ Einloth said. ‘We expect to have a decision in the process soon.’
It’s expected that FCB will continue to handle some projects, since the agency handles most of Citibank’s other marketing activities out of its New York and Chicago offices. It isn’t clear, however, if another agency also will get part of the business.
Both Lowe and Cramer-Krasselt handle various portions of the business already. Lowe handles advertising for Citibank Visa, and C-K handles various direct efforts for the client.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)