NEW YORK Visa International is in negotiations with Grey London to award its advertising account in Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa (CEMEA), the client said. Sources said the account billings are estimated at 30 million euros (about $30 million).
Grey and Lowe, both London, were the finalists in the review, which began in October and had earlier included AMV BBDO and Saatchi & Saatchi, both London [Adweek, Oct. 28]. Sources had identified Saatchi, which was the incumbent in Middle East and Africa, as a finalist [Adweek Jan.20]. The shop did not make the final two, but retains the business in EU countries. Tequila had handled Central and Eastern Europe for Visa.
BBDO New York handles the $250 million Visa North America account.
London consultancy AAR managed the review process.
In a statement, Visa International CEMEA vp and head of marketing Alex Craddock said, "Visa is the number one payment brand in Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. Our goal is to maintain brand leadership and increase retail sales volume. We've been searching for an agency that can deliver a great, integrated campaign, a strong brand idea, and a network that works well together with excellent regional and London leadership. Grey delivers on all three."
The win is a feather in the cap of Carolyn Carter, president Grey Global Group Europe, Middle East and Africa. She said "We are really proud and motivated to be chosen to build a terrific brand like Visa. We pride ourselves on being a network that works - we're looking
forward to great results."