Visa Taps Golin/Harris for U.S. PR Business

NEW YORK–Visa has moved its U.S. public relations account from Omnicom’s Ketchum to Interpublic Group’s Golin/Harris, following a review of undisclosed agencies, the company confirmed. Billings on the account were undisclosed but sources estimated them at $3-5 million.

In a statement, Visa USA president and CEO Carl Pascarella said, “This was an extremely important search for us because as we embark on new initiatives in the payments arena we recognize that communications is more critical than ever. Golin/Harris brought a thorough research-based approach and thought process that impressed us all.”

Ketchum has held the Visa account since 1996 and was a contender in the review that began in the spring. Visa USA evp of corporate communications Barie Carmichael was one of the key decision makers for the San Francisco-based client.

Visa’s advertising agency is Omnicom’s BBDO, which has held the U.S. account since 1985. Visa spent about $250 million in measured media in the U.S., according to CMR. The 17-year-old tagline for that campaign is “It’s everywhere you want to be.”

The client is currently running an advertising agency review in Europe [Adweek, Oct. 28] for the Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa account. Estimated spending in that region is about $50-60 million, sources said. The tagline in Europe is “The future takes Visa,” but a source said the client there wants a new campaign.

Publicis Group’s Saatchi & Saatchi handles the brand in Western Europe and will retain that business. Saatchi is a contender in the EEMEA review as are AMV BBDO, J. Walter Thompson, Grey and Lowe, all London, sources said.

AAR Partners in London is managing the process.