Birds of a Feather

While the Interpublic Group savors its win of the $170 million Bank of America account, sources say Omnicom is trying to wipe egg off its collective face after the loss. The Omnicom team consisted of agencies including BBDO, Organic, TargetBase and Arnell, whose principal, Peter Arnell, regaled the client with such arrogance during the first presentation that he alienated the BofA folks almost beyond repair, sources say. Arnell’s existing relationship with BofA chief marketing officer Catherine Bessant (working on brand identity) also may have worked against him, a source says.

“Maybe people felt he was too comfortable, and sometimes comfortable ness comes off as arrogance,” the source says. “There’s a fine line between being comfortable and being cocky.”

Another source says Omnicom’s whole team was so cocksure that BBDO was shopping around a BofA account director job two months ago. And while IPG’s Bruce Nelson was said to have “hit it out of the park,” many sources said the account wasn’t so much won by IPG as lost by Omnicom, which came up with few ideas.

Executives at BBDO and Arnell did not return calls. A client rep would say only, “IPG presented a very integrated approach across all disciplines and all agencies.”