First Union Eyes 6 Agencies

A Pair Of Locals Invest In Bank’s $5-8 Mil. Contest
BOSTON–Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Ingalls Advertising are looking to leverage their financial services expertise in the review for First Union Corp.’s wholesale financial products division.
The two Boston shops last week surfaced among six contenders for the $5-8 million assignment in a review being managed by Pile and Co. in Boston, according to sources.
Also in the hunt are Margeotes/Fertitta + Partners, Doremus & Co., Citigate and Brouillard Communications (a unit of WPP Group agency J. Walter Thompson), all in New York, sources said.
First Union is looking for a shop to handle creative development and media placement in various business segments.
A cut to finalists is expected in the next few weeks, with a decision coming by early November, sources said. Officials with both First Union in Charlotte, N.C., and Pile and Co. declined comment last week.
Client representatives have stressed that the review has no impact on Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco, First Union’s lead agency, which broke a nationwide branding campaign for the bank two weeks ago.
Hill, Holliday last year was assigned direct marketing duties for First Union following a review conducted by Pile and Co.
With more than $60 million in billings, Citigate–a unit of Citigate Communications Group in London–already works on business-to-business assignments for First Union but is not an incumbent on the assignment currently in play, sources said.
All the contenders have considerable business-to-business and financial services acumen. Hill, Holliday works for BankBoston, John Hancock Financial Services and Fidelity Investments, among others. Ingalls handles Citizens Bank. Brouillard has serviced Visa USA’s Plus ATM program and Security Capital Industrial Trust. Doremus has worked for several banks, including Chase Manhattan, Banc One and Bank of Montreal. Margeotes has handled Putnam Investments. –with Justin Dini