Howard, Merrell Wins Colonial BancGroup

ATLANTA Howard, Merrell & Partners has been selected after a review to provide creative and media planning and buying for Colonial BancGroup, a $21 billion bank holding company, the shop said.

Colonial BancGroup of Montgomery, Ala., operates 323 Colonial Bank offices in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Nevada and Texas. The company has acquired 66 community banks in the past 25 years. Previously, Colonial assigned its advertising work as projects to several shops.

The work will include broadcast, print and direct mail brand advertising for the bank. The first ads from the Interpublic Group shop in Raleigh, N.C., are scheduled to launch during the second quarter.

“Colonial is focused on establishing a strong presence in substantially diverse and fast-growing markets so we must strengthen our brand as we continue to expand our market presence,” said Jane Rea, marketing director for the company.

HMP has worked on the accounts of Branch Banking and Trust of Winston-Salem, N.C., and Dutch-based ING Direct in the past and was looking for another financial services client, the shop said.

Colonial spent $1.8 million on advertising in 2004 and $3.3 million through September of last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.