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Marine Midland Eases Into Review

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Marine Midland Bank this week begins chemistry meetings in its search for an agency to handle its estimated $20 million account.
Eight shops will meet with the Buffalo-based client in the next two weeks: D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, DeVito/ Verdi, M&C Saatchi, Margeotes/Fertitta + Partners, Angotti, Thomas, Hedge and Bates Worldwide, all in New York; Saatchi & Saatchi Business Communications, Rochester, N.Y.; and Wolf Group, Buffalo, N.Y., sources said.
DMB&B handled Marine Midland in the early 1990s; Bates works for other banks owned by HSBC Holdings, Marine Midland's parent.
Incumbent Eric Mower and Associates, Buffalo, resigned in August.
Creative duties--including direct mail and collateral materials--and media chores are in play. Heading the search are: Anne Nelson, executive vice president of marketing, Wanda Zygmuntowicz,
senior vice president of marketing, and Minnetonka, Minn.-based consultant Jan Apple.
Marine Midland, with 380 branches across New York state, will likely cut to three or four shops before issuing a strategic assignment next month. An agency will be named by year-end.
The client's most recent TV spots focused on retirement planning and small business services. The tagline: "Banking for the real world."
--with Hank Kim and Sloane Lucas