Bank Makes a Deposit

Commerce Bancshares has moved its retail and investor services advertising accounts to Bernstein-Rein Advertising from Campbell Mithun Esty.
Charles Ecker, Commerce’s director of marketing, confirmed the consolidation. “As we re-evaluate our competitive position in the marketplace, we feel we could benefit from a more focused strategy, which would best come from a single agency,” he said.
The shift occurred without a review. BR in Kansas City, Mo., has worked for the company’s commercial banking operations for several years, while CME has handled the retail and investor services accounts since 1994, Ecker said. The tagline developed by CME is, “For my money, it’s Commerce.”
Minneapolis-based CME won the account in 1994 after a review that included BR. At the time, the account was valued at $5-7 million, but it has dropped substantially since. Commerce Bancshares spent less than $1 million on advertising last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Ecker declined to disclose billings, but sources said ad spending could increase to $10-15 million.
Commerce Bancshares, a holding company for Commerce Banks operating in Illinois, Kansas and Missouri, may increase its advertising presence as mergers change the banking landscape.
Ecker said the account shift was not directly related to these mergers, but acknowledged the bank was looking for ways to “maximize our competitive impact.”