MoneyGram Picks Denver Shop

MoneyGram Payment Systems has delivered its estimated $10 million global advertising account to Thomas & Perkins following a review.

The Denver agency succeeds Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, which had the account for four years but did not participate in the review.

“We needed strong capabilities and someone who could do more guerrilla grassroots marketing on a retail front,” said vp of retail sales and worldwide marketing Ann Doelling. The money-transfer-services firm, a subsidiary of Travelers Express in Minneapolis, also needed to speak better to its customers who send money overseas, she added. Campbell Mithun, she said, was “most adept at the domestic market.”

MoneyGram, based in Lakewood, Colo., only considered shops inside the state, Doelling said. Finalists also included McClain Finlon Advertising and Cactus, both in Denver, and Sterling-Rice Group in Boulder.

Thomas & Perkins was selected after offering ideas on how a company like MoneyGram can control the brand experience even though its outlets are located inside retailers, such as Albertson’s Supermarkets. The shop “had a lot of creativity in the way they answered the question,” Doelling said.

MoneyGram is No. 2 in its category, behind Western Union. Agency president Bryan Thomas said the shop is eager to work on such a “challenger brand” and “go after Western Union’s market share.”

Work will include point-of-sale materials (previously handled by DTS in Minneapolis) and outdoor and radio ads, due to appear in early 2002.

MoneyGram has not used a tagline of late and has not advertised on general-market TV for almost two years, Doelling said. Its Hispanic agency, Casanova Pendrill Publicidad in Irvine, Calif., has done some TV ads in that time.

Associate creative director Eric Kiker will guide creative on the account at Thomas & Perkins.

The agency has 75 employees, claims billings of $70 million and works for such clients as Qwest, Cellular One and Wendy’s.