Financial Institution Looks Beyond Its 12-State Market Region

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 manager of advertising and public relations Tom Woodbery. Replies were due Aug. 2. Woodbery said no additional queries will be accepted. “The horse is already out of the barn,” he said.
Woodbery confirmed agencies outside the bank’s 12-state marketing area–the Southwest, Southeast and Midwest–are participating.
Incumbent The Ramey Agency has declined an invitation to defend. The Ridgeland, Miss.-based shop operates a Memphis unit mainly to serve Union Planters Bank.
Ramey principals did not return calls by press time last week, and one executive working on the account declined comment.
The review comes as Ramey tries to establish itself under new ownership and executive leadership following the death of founder Thomas Ramey.
Chief executive officer Christopher Ray returned after a stint at Archer/Malmo, Memphis, and immediately saw the loss of Mississippi’s tourism business following the election of a new governor. Soon thereafter, Ramey sold a majority interest to Viking Capital Ventures, the investment arm of its largest client, Viking Range.
Potential candidates will be cut to a handful of contenders by the end of August. A decision is expected in October, Woodbery said.
The banking network has $34.2 billion in assets, ranking it 27th in the U.S..
Currently, the marketing budgets are shared by the corporation and its local affiliates. The client expects to centralize media spending in the near future. Meanwhile, “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 proposal.