AmEx Eyes Direct Roster Shuffle

American Express is re-evaluating its direct marketing assignments, a move that could result in changes on its roster, sources said.
The evaluation follows the win by Young & Rubicam here of Citibank’s global account. Y&R’s sister shop, Wunderman Cato Johnson, also New York, handles some $50 million in direct marketing billings for AmEx.
Currently, AmEx is holding talks with its other direct roster agencies: OgilvyOne, formerly Ogilvy & Mather Direct, and DraftDirect, both in New York. Sources said former roster shop Bronner Slosberg Humphrey in Boston is also being considered.
The financial services company is expected to decide by mid-September whether it will shift Wunderman’s business to a roster shop, divide it between the agencies or look beyond the roster, sources said.
“We are currently reviewing relationships with Young & Rubicam,” said an AmEx representative. “We’re discussing conflict issues with them as a result of their decision to take on Citibank.”
DraftDirect, which AmEx hired last year, handles new member acquisitions, among other assignments. Ogilvy handles card services and merchant marketing. Bronner resigned its AmEx business last year due to a conflict with AT&T. An AmEx representative, however, said the agency still serves as a consultant to the financial services company. –with Hank Kim