JPMorgan Chase Moves Its Payment Business from Saatchi & Saatchi to Droga5

By Patrick Coffee 

Over the summer, banking giant JPMorgan Chase made a big move, shifting the “Retail, Mortgage, Auto and Chase for Business” portions of its advertising business to Droga5 without a formal review.

Initially, the decision was simply seen as a new addition to Chase’s agency roster. But less than two months later, the client ended its relationship with former AOR mcgarrybowen after more than a decade. At the time, a Chase spokesperson told us that Saatchi & Saatchi New York would retain its status as AOR on the payment portions of the business, which encompass the Freedom/Sapphire cards and the client’s collaborations with Apple Pay.

Today we learned that this is no longer the case. Chase has moved the payment business to Droga5, again without a formal review.

Droga now appears to be JPMorgan Chase’s only U.S. creative agency partner, and it will handle all ads related to the cards moving forward in addition to its retail/mortgage assignment. This means that the client has effectively ended its relationship with Saatchi & Saatchi, which won the card business away from mcgarrybowen in a 2012 pitch.

The future of ROAR, the Publicis unit created in 2014 specifically to handle Chase’s global digital business, is unclear. This news also comes at a somewhat awkward time: two weeks ago, Digiday ran a story outlining a planned re-organization in which Saatchi & Saatchi and ROAR would share Chase work with newly appointed EVP/managing director and TBWA vet Leigh Baker leading the account.

Sources close to the matter tell us that the announcement came earlier this month and that the Saatchi & Saatchi organization “lacked the resources” to defend its business against Droga5. Based on past reports, it would seem that Chase simply made the decision in the interest of consolidation, much as Verizon decided to let McCann “inherit” the Verizon Wireless creative account from mcgarrybowen in October after working on the FiOS business.

We have been attempting to reach Chase for an official comment all week but have yet to receive a response from relevant representatives.

Both Droga5 and Saatchi & Saatchi New York declined to comment for this post.