First Interstate, with $49.5 billion in assets and regional operations in the Northwest, Southwest, California and Texas, has used its multistate operations as a key feature of its advertising until now. But with bank deregulation, interstate banking has become the norm. Senior vp/advertising Gary A. Schmidt said the company now needs to look elsewhere for its competitive advantage. 'We need to come up with new positioning and enhance our brand equity,' Schmidt said.
Interstate is also seeking to build a promotional strategy, and Schmidt wasn't ruling out the possibility that more than one agency will ultimately be selected to handle the different advertising functions. 'The one thing we won't do is accept the traditional paradigm that you can be all things to all people,' he said. 'There's creative versus media buying and there are many different ways to cut the pie, and while ideally we would be able to get superior value by getting all that in one place, we're going to keep an open mind to insure we get the best mix of capabilities in the most efficient and effective manner.'
An agency selection committee of six senior bank executives has been chosen to oversee the review. The consulting team will be headed by John A. Laurino, managing director of Westcorp and Randolph Lindel, director of the firm's strategic communications practice.
Incumbent Campbell and Wagman/L.A. has been invited to pitch the account, but has said that it may decline that offer.
The bank hopes to have a shop on board by January.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)