Banking on Buntin and Crispin

Two regional banks have made decisions on new agencies following extensive searches, according to sources.

Centura Banks in Rocky Mount, N.C., has chosen The Buntin Group to replace J. Walter Thompson here, confirmed a client executive. Separately, sources in Birmingham, Ala., said Compass Banks will soon name Crispin Porter & Bogusky to succeed The Richards Group of Dallas.

Executives at Compass Banks did not return calls by press time. Representatives of CP&B in Miami and Richmond, Va., search consultant Peter Coughter, who led the review, would not comment.

Compass Banks’ ad account has been estimated at $8 million. Four shops were originally vying for the business, which became available when Richards resigned it earlier this summer. Early in the review, CP&B denied being a participant.

Buntin in Nashville, Tenn., topped two undisclosed contenders for the Centura account. The agency has been aggressively seeking a banking client since it lost the First American account when it was acquired by AmSouth last February.

“We had almost a full turnkey account group in place that we could put on the business immediately,” said agency principal Jeffrey Buntin.

The Centura review was conducted by Achenbaum Bogda Associates in Chapel Hill, N.C. The bank’s annual marketing budget was not disclosed, but Competitive Media Reporting cites 1999 ad spending at $420,000; $473,000 through May 2000. The five-year high was $1.2 million in 1997.