Webster Bank has awarded Mintz & Hoke a $6-8 million assignment to promote the bank and its recently acquired online mortgage site, Nowlending.com.
The win provides the Avon, Conn., agency with a sizable regional bank and the opportunity to tackle its first ads promoting a dot.com initiative.
Mintz & Hoke won the account without a review after the Waterbury, Conn.-based client split with Pagano Schenck & Kay, which handled the business for two years. Mintz & Hoke was runner-up to Pagano in 1997.
Webster Bank's agency change stemmed from "philosophical" differences and is unrelated to the Boston shop's recent sale to New York-based EPB Communications, according to Margaret Steeves, Webster senior vice president of marketing services.
Pagano president Beau Fraser said his agency disagreed with Webster Bank over strategy and creative work, but added that there is still "a lot of affection and respect between the two firms."
In the last three years, Webster Bank mostly through acquisition has grown from 40 to 125 branch locations and now manages some $10 billion in assets, up from $4 million.
"They are a perfect partner for us," said Mintz & Hoke president Chris Knopf. "We share the same values and vision."
The shop's first TV spots for the bank will break around Thanksgiving, while the first ads for the site are scheduled to break in the first quarter. The bank ads will continue in the same vein as Pagano's most recent ads, which introduced University of Connecticut men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun as spokesman for the bank. Calhoun has been signed to a three-year contract, Steeves said.
The ads, which will run through basketball season, will not include the Pagano penned positioning line: "The simpler, the better." A new tagline is under discussion, Knopf said.
Spending for Nowlending.com's advertising and public relations will be about $3 million, Steeves said. K