PNC Bank Reviews Creative, Media

PNC Bank is reviewing creative and media duties on its ad account, with a request for proposals due back within the next week, sources said.

The review comes two months after PNC acquired National City bank for $5.58 billion, creating the nation’s fifth-largest bank by deposits. Billings on the combined account are estimated at $100 million.

The incumbents on PNC and National City — independent Doner in Southfield, Mich., and Interpublic Group’s Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis, respectively — have been invited to defend, said sources. Each incumbent handles both creative and media duties on its respective brand.

The client is expected to complete the process by early July.

It was not immediately clear how many agencies received the RFP, but some will return the document this week and others, next week, depending on when they received it, said sources.

The Bedford Group in Atlanta is said to be managing the search. Bedford did not return calls and PNC could not immediately be reached.

Doner has worked on PNC since 2001 and Campbell Mithun on National City since 2007.

Pittsburgh-based PNC serves about 6 million individuals and small businesses in 13 states and the District of Columbia, according to PNC.com. The bank operates some 2,600 branches and 6,000 ATM machines. Beyond retail banking, PNC also offers asset management, corporate and institutional banking and global investment services.

PNC spent nearly $70 million in major measured media last year, compared to more than $40 million for National City, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The 2007 totals for PNC and National City, respectively, were $56 million and $31 million, per Nielsen.

Bedford managed last year’s review of SunTrust’s creative and media duties, which resulted in the hire of Wenham, Mass.-based Mullen, a unit of IPG. Mullen succeeded the New York offices of WPP Group units Young & Rubicam and Maxus.

That review was triggered in part by Y&R’s pursuit of Wachovia Corp.’s $145 million account. Y&R was the runner-up in the Wachovia pitch, which WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather here won, only to see the brand dissolve after Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia. (National City branches are expected to be re-branded as PNC units over time.)