Visa’s Global Media Review Comes Amid Turnover in Marketing

OMD is the primary incumbent

Amid changes in its top marketing ranks, Visa has launched a global review of its media planning and buying.

Earlier this week, Antonio Lucio, Visa's chief brand officer, said he was leaving the company to become chief marketing officer for HP Inc., the personal computer and printer company that Hewlett-Packard is spinning off later this year. (The media review began before his exit announcement, sources said.)

Lucio's departure follows that of Kevin Burke, chief marketing officer of core products, who led global and country marketing for consumer and commercial products until leaving in December. Burke, who has not been replaced, moved to payments register service Square as head of customer acquisition.

Visa spends more than $200 million globally on media each year, according to sources. In the U.S. alone last year, media spending exceeded $110 million, according to Kantar Media.

"As is the practice throughout our industry, we undertake regular agency reviews, and periodically decide to open parts of our portfolio to other firms to present their capabilities," said a Visa representative. "We have decided to conduct an RFP for a global media agency partner and welcome the participation of our current agency and others in this process."

In the company's last review, in 2008, OMD prevailed when it added Latin America and parts of Europe to its existing responsibility for the U.S. and Asia. OMD is expected to defend the business now up for grabs.

In the previous search, four holding companies put forth agencies: Omnicom, WPP Group, Publicis Groupe and Aegis.