Fleet Trims Direct List

Blau, 3 Others Advance in $150 Mil. Review
BOSTON–Fleet Financial Group last week narrowed the field of agencies competing for its estimated $150 million direct marketing account.
Making final presentations next month will be Barry Blau & Partners, Wilton, Conn.; Bozell Direct, New York; Cohn & Wells, San Francisco and New York; and Devon Direct Marketing & Advertising, Berwyn, Pa.
Eliminated from contention were Gillespie in Princeton, N.J., OgilvyOne Worldwide in New York and Robertson Marketing Group in Salem, Va.
Blau is making its presentation in conjunction with Arnold Direct, a unit of Arnold Communications. Although the Boston-based shop is Fleet’s lead ad agency, a source close to the review said the client is looking at Blau as “a brand new player.”
Devon is direct marketing agency of record for Advanta, a credit card company acquired by Fleet earlier this year and being rolled into its existing credit card business.
Cohn & Wells was started in 1987 and counts Bank of America as one of its first clients. It also has worked for Fleet, creating initial communiquƒs with customers after a corporate takeover or buyout.
Of the finalists, only Bozell is without ties to the client. However, its parent company, Bozell Worldwide, has category experience, having handled Merrill Lynch for 12 years.
The review committee is headed by Fleet senior vice president of corporate marketing Anne Finucane and senior vice president of marketing Betsy Richardson. Brian Wolf, direct marketing director, is also a key decision maker for the Boston-based client.
The review, being run by consulting firm Pile and Co. in Boston, covers Fleet’s credit card as well as retail and commercial banking divisions. The client may chose to consolidate direct marketing chores at a single agency or split them between two shops.