Western Union in Play

Western Union Financial Services has put its North American consumer-advertising account in review, the company said last week. The client spent an estimated $20 million in 2001, according to CMR.

Lowe in New York resigned the account in October, citing the client’s desire to focus on the Hispanic market [Adweek, Oct. 29].

Sources said this search, however, will be for a mainstream agency to replace Lowe. Brom ley Communications in San Antonio is Western Union’s Hispanic shop.

The Denver company said it is searching for an agency that can offer multicultural support to consumers in the U.S. and Canada. The review is being led by Achenbaum Bogda Associates in Raleigh, N.C.

Bromley and another incumbent, Unity Media, New York, have been invited to participate, the client said.

Sources said the search may focus on West Coast shops because of the location of the parent (Denver) and Western Union’s marketing department (Englewood, Colo.)

The client is owned by financial-services company First Data Corp.

In January, First Data, which provides the electronic networks used for most credit card purchases in the United States, said demand for worldwide money transfers had boosted its operating profits. The company also owns a stake in the ATM network operator NYCE.

Last May, Western Union made overtures to about six shops, but the process stalled.

Achenbaum executives declined comment.