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Commerce Bank Begins Review

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ATLANTA Commerce Bank has launched a review for its advertising account, the company said.

The Cherry Hill, N.J.-based bank said it has sent inquiries to an undisclosed number of agencies, mostly in New York. The incumbent, Interpublic Group's Tierney Communications in Philadelphia, has been invited to defend. The shop said it is evaluating its options but has not made a decision. Tierney has held the account for the past 10 years.

Commerce Bank spent $9 million on advertising in 2004 and $3 million in the first nine months of last year. The publicly traded company operates 375 banking locations in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Virginia and southeastern Florida. It has announced plans to expand to 700 branches in the next three years.

The company's most recent television work used former Seinfeld star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, in a humorous spot with nuns. A new commercial from Tierney, scheduled for release this spring, uses television talk show hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa.

Commerce did not provide a timetable for the review, but said it expects to make a decision "as quickly as possible." There is no consultant conducting the review.