Chase Ends Its Relationship With mcgarrybowen

By Patrick Coffee 

JPMorgan Chase works in mysterious ways.

Last month, a spokesperson for the financial institution confirmed that it had chosen Droga5 as its lead creative agency on the “Retail, Mortgage, Auto and Chase for Business” portions of its portfolio.

We later learned that the client did not issue an RFP or announce any sort of review and that it had reached out to Droga5 directly. (The only two agencies involved in related discussions were Droga and mcgarrybowen.) We also learned that the client had not updated the agency on the full scope of its responsibilities when our post went live. Chase held a briefing the following week at which it made clear that Droga’s share of the account would be larger than previously stated.

At the time, the client downplayed the effects this move would have on its relationships with other roster agencies, telling us that it would retain mcgarrybowen to work on campaigns related to its Corporate portfolio.

The company’s marketing department seems to have changed its mind on that point, however, and today we learned that Chase has ended its relationship with mcgarrybowen after nearly eleven years.

In 2004, the bank chose the New York-based shop to advertise its U.S. retail and credit card businesses and to strengthen its core brand following the merger of JPMorgan Chase and BankOne. This was more than four years before the Dentsu acquisition, when mcgarrybowen remained the city’s largest independent agency.

The client later expanded mcgarry’s role but in recent years sent portions of the account to other agencies (most prominently Saatchi & Saatchi). mcgarrybowen’s last significant work for Chase was the April “So You Can” campaign extension starring Serena Williams, fencing champion Tim Morehouse and New York’s own Rockettes.

Saatchi & Saatchi will retain its status as creative AOR on Chase’s Freedom and Sapphire cards.