GSD&M Vies for BofA

By Kathy Tyrer and Steve Krajewski

LOS ANGELES–GSD&M, Austin, Texas, has emerged as a late entrant in Bank of America’s review of its $30-40 million broadcast media buying account.

An agency representative confirmed the shop’s late invitation from the San Francisco-based bank but declined to elaborate.

GSD&M is the only full-service agency joining four previously identified finalists: Creative Media and SFM Media, both in New York; and Western International Media and Carat/ICG, both in Los Angeles.

Sources said an existing relationship with Eugene Lockhart, president of BankAmerica’s Global Retail Bank, earned the shop its chance to participate. The Global Retail Bank encompasses the consumer and small business banking areas.

Lockhart previously served as president and chief executive officer of MasterCard and was a strong supporter of GSD&M, which handles domestic media buying for the credit card company. Despite ties to Lockhart, sources said GSD&M may be at a disadvantage competing against media buying firms that most likely have the ability to negotiate cheaper buys than the agency.

The bank’s broadcast media buying is handled by Deutsch, New York, which won BofA’s creative and planning account earlier this year. Deutsch is assisting with the media search.

BofA took four months to complete its creative and media planning review and asked competing agencies to make an unscheduled second round of presentations. A decision in the media review was expected this month, but may be postponed, sources said. Bank executives did not return calls at press time.

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