4 Shops Prep for PNC Bank Finals

NEW YORK PNC Bank this week met with four agencies in preparation for final presentations in the bank’s review of creative and media duties on its advertising account, sources said.

The shops are Interpublic Group units McCann Erickson and Deutsch, both in New York, Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York and Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett in Chicago, confirmed Jane Bedford of The Bedford Group, the Atlanta-based consultancy that’s managing the process.

Though Bedford confirmed the agencies that remain in contention, she would discuss no other details.

Sources described this week’s meetings, which took place at the agencies, as work sessions. Final pitches are slated for early June at PNC’s headquarters in Pittsburgh.

The assignment includes both traditional and digital creative efforts as well as media planning and buying. Account revenue is estimated at $10 million.

The search was triggered in part by PNC’s $5.58 billion acquisition of National City bank in December. The winning agency will succeed independent Doner in Southfield, Mich., which has handled PNC since 2001, and IPG’s Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis, National City’s lead agency since 2007.

The finalists emerged from a larger field of agencies that client executives visited last month.

PNC, the nation’s fifth-largest bank by deposits, serves about 6 million individuals and small businesses in 13 states and the District of Columbia, according to PNC.com. The bank operates some 2,600 branches and 6,000 ATM machines. Beyond retail banking, PNC offers asset management, corporate and institutional banking and global investment services.

PNC spent nearly $70 million in major measured media last year, compared to more than $40 million for National City, according to Nielsen. (The 2007 totals for PNC and National City, respectively, were $56 million and $31 million, per Nielsen.)