ING Barings Floats a U.S. Branding Assignment

A U.S. division of international investment banking powerhouse ING Group is scouting for a U.S. agency to handle a national branding assignment, sources said.

Earlier this year, Ogilvy & Mather, New York, and a WPP sibling, media network MindShare, landed a $10 million assignment to coordinate ING Barings’ advertising outside the U.S. Sources said the Amsterdam, Netherlands-based client did not include Ogilvy in the current review because the agency accepted a conflicting assignment in August from U.S. financial institution Goldman Sachs.

The branding assignment is valued at $25-35 million, according to one source. The company’s numerous U.S. operations include ING Barings and ING Direct. Its international advertising budget is estimated at $77 million.

The New York offices of ING Barings referred all calls to Ogilvy’s London offices. Officials there could not be reached at press time.

Upon winning the account in March, Ogilvy’s job was to launch a tactical campaign in the spring or summer for ING’s various business units within the investment banking division. ING sought creative that would appeal to the general public and to business decision makers, and hoped to shake off its traditional, stuffy, merchant-banking image.

The rapidly expanding parent company, ING Group, is Europe’s third-largest financial institution. Most recently, it launched ING Direct, a global brand for the direct marketing of financial services. ING expects the division to become a leading global brand in the arena, and is eyeing an expansion into two new countries each year for the next several years. The next launch is planned for Spain and France.

ING Barings is the corporate and investment banking arm of ING Group, providing financial products and services to corporate and institutional clients around the world through a network of 89 offices in 49 countries employing 9,331 people.

Considered the world’s fifth largest financial institution, ING Group is one of the few remaining hybrids offering banking, insurance and financial services. Its competitors include Citigroup and AXA.

Headquartered in Amsterdam and London, ING Barings organizes its global business into four areas, corporate finance, institutional finance, equity markets and financial markets.