Raft of Proposals Hits Capital One

NEW YORK Ten agencies have returned RFPs to Capital One, a Capital One representative confirmed. Sources said the client expects to cut to semifinalists by the end of this week; the rep declined to comment on the timetable for the review, which is being handled by Bob Wolf Partners/TPG in Los Angeles.

Capital One did confirm that the agencies that filled out and returned questionnaires this month for the estimated $170 million account are McCann-Erickson, J. Walter Thompson, Merkley Newman Harty & Partners, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Grey, Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, the Kaplan Thaler Group, all New York, as well as Arnold in Boston, The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., and Element 79 in Chicago.

After credentials meetings and strategic presentations in February, the client will cut to a short list of finalists with final pitches in March and an agency selection by April 1, sources said.

The Falls Church, Va., client began contacting search consultants in late October just weeks after it was announced that incumbent agency, D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in New York, would be dismantled, and the account would move to its Publicis Groupe sibling, Publicis in New York. D’Arcy, which won the Capital One account in 1999 and created the campaign, “What’s in your wallet,” is expected to close its doors by Jan. 31.