The Money Store has assigned its first Hispanic-oriented advertising project to Sanchez & Levitan in Miami, following a review, the client confirmed late last week.
Denise Kimes, senior vice president and brand director for The Money Store in Sacramento, Calif., said Sanchez & Levitan (S&L) prevailed over Zubi Advertising Services in Coral Gables, Fla., and Casanova Pendrill Publicidad in Irvine, Calif.
Kimes did not characterize its affiliation with S&L as an agency of record relationship. "Initially, it is a project, and if the project bodes well, we'll talk further," Kimes said. She would not discuss details of the assignment. One source familiar with the review, however, said the test project had a budget of $1 million and would roll out nationally if successful.
Executives at the agency confirmed the account win and referred further queries to The Money Store.
S&L's "innate understanding of direct response marketing" impressed the client, Kimes said. The agency handles direct response assignments for divisions of BellSouth in Atlanta. S&L also has experience in the financial arena, having launched Latino advertising in Florida for NCNB Corp. (now known as NationsBank).
The Money Store, which specializes in home equity and mortgage lending to people with troubled credit histories, is in merger discussions with First Union Corp.
One-third of the country's home buyers in 1997 were minorities, according to a national survey released earlier this year by Chicago Title and Trust Co.
The client's general market ads, featuring Jim Palmer, are created by in-house shop Dyna-Mark.