Still in the chase after the second cut are L.A.'s DMB&B, Eisaman, Johns & Laws, Lord, Dentsu & Partners, DDB Needham; Santa Monica, Calif.-based Suissa Miller and Kresser/Craig; and San Francisco's Hal Riney & Partners and Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein.
Though the roster runs from independent shops with hot creative reputations to members of worldwide networks - and includes a billings range from around $50 million to over $200 million - all will have to deal with First Interstate's priority on strong account service skills as the review progresses.
Officials at First Interstate, with over $50 billion in assets and operations in 13 Western states, have said that their strategy depends in part on maintaining separate identities for the individual regions. As competitors move to multi-state operations, FI believes it can stay dominant by maintaining distinct identities tied to the regions in which it operates. To do that effectively, account services are 'crucial,' Schmidt said.
'We're not going to tell anyone how to service the account,' he said. 'We're going to put the challenge in front of them and see what their best thinking is.' Creative will play a role in the selection process, as Schmidt said FI is looking for a fresh approach. 'If you look at financial services advertising today, it's a celebration of mediocrity.'
FI will cut the review to four in November, with a winner expected by early next year.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)