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Capital One Hires Bob Wolf for Publicis Jump-Ball

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NEW YORK -- Bob Wolf Partners/TPG has been retained by Capital One as a consultant as the client conducts a creative review among Publicis Groupe agencies, sources said.

Saatchi & Saatchi, the Kaplan Thaler Group and incumbent D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (soon to become Publicis), all New York, are scheduled to participate in creative presentations to the Falls Church, Va., client beginning the week of Dec. 9 and Dec.16, sources said. The client spends about $170 million in U.S. media, per CMR.

Capital One quietly reached out to search consultants two months ago because of creative differences and a lack of communication about the transition of its ad account from soon-to-be-dismantled D'Arcy to Publicis, sources said [Adweek, Nov. 4]. A Capital One representative at the time said the company wanted a search consultant to help them become better informed about their new agency. Sources said the consultants contacted were then told their services were no longer needed after word of the search leaked.

However, Bob Wolf, who was originally contacted, was retained because he has a long-standing relationship with Capital One's evp of brand Bill McDonald, sources said. The two worked together in the 1980s when Wolf was president of then Chiat/Day in New York, which had the Pizza Hut account. McDonald worked in the marketing department of Pizza Hut.

A call to Capital One was not immediately returned. An executive at the Los Angeles office of Bob Wolf Partners/TPG said Wolf was traveling and could not immediately be reached.

D'Arcy has handled Capital One since 1999 and created the 3-year-old "What's in your wallet" campaign.