DDB Wins $40 Mil. Norwest-Wells Fargo Shootout

Carmichael Lynch, Incumbent at the Acquirer, Retains Small Portion
LOS ANGELES–Now that it has prevailed in the shootout for the merged bank formed by Norwest Banks and Wells Fargo & Co., DDB’s first task will be rebranding the company this fall under the Wells Fargo moniker.
Norwest Banks of Minneapolis acquired Wells Fargo of San Francisco last November, and chose to use the latter’s name.
DDB, which handled Wells since 1995, prevailed over Norwest incumbent Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis for the $40-50 million business. That shop will continue to handle Norwest Bank outlets in Minnesota.
“The new Wells Fargo is twice the size of the old Norwest and as a result we needed the resources and services of a larger agency,” said Wells Fargo representative Larry Haeg.
DDB’s stronger strategic insights, better range and quality of creative and more thorough media plan also won the day, said sources. The decision is an upset for Carmichael, as the client committee was led by executive vice president for marketing Cindy Gray, who came from the acquirer, Norwest.
Gray said both agencies offered good ideas, but DDB here drew more effectively upon the combined banks’ strengths–“the wonderful [150-year] heritage of Wells Fargo and the customer service qualities of Norwest.”
“We are delighted that we beat the odds,” said DDB president Dave Park. DDB has played up Wells Fargo’s stagecoach logo in previous ads.
Carmichael, which worked for Norwest since 1991, previously utilized comedian Bob Newhart in ads. The agency declined to comment.