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Citi Concludes Direct Marketing Review

Selections end process that began in the spring

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The outcome of Citi’s direct marketing review for North America represents a split decision.

Citi awarded direct mail and collateral responsibilities for its retail bank and credit cards to Havas Worldwide, even while assigning online advertising for the bank and its cards to Wunderman, according to sources.

The Chicago office of Havas will handle the mail and collateral business, which was previously at the New York office of Wunderman, sources said. Account revenue on that piece is estimated at $8 million.

The online ad assignment, which includes banner ads and the like, represents revenue of $3-4 million, said a source. So, Citi’s decision is a net loss for Wunderman, and, as a result, the WPP Group agency is expected to lay off some employees.

Roughly 25 people work on Citi at Wunderman New York, which employs a total of about 175 staffers. The office, whose other accounts include Microsoft, Novartis and Lufthansa, declined to comment.

Havas could not be reached and a Citi representative had no comment.

The lead general market creative shop for Citi, which last year spent nearly $175 million in media, remains Publicis Kaplan Thaler in New York. 

By any standard, Citi’s review was a long one, having begun in the spring. The outcome, however, wasn’t entirely surprising. After all, Citi’s initial request for information suggested that the company might end up hiring more than one shop.