HSBC Reviews Global Marketing Account

NEW YORK HSBC Group has launched a global review of its advertising, media and marketing services business with an eye toward consolidating agencies and cutting costs, a client representative confirmed. The London-based company spends more than $600 million annually on all marketing efforts.

Four ad holding companies have been invited to participate: WPP, Interpublic Group, Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe, the HSBC rep said. Each has been asked to come up with a team of agencies to pitch the business. HSBC hopes to complete the process by May.

The review, which was expected [Adweek, Dec. 8], was triggered in part by WPP’s acquisition of Cordiant Communications Group last year. After the deal, WPP folded most of Bates, an HSBC roster shop, into other WPP networks, such as J. Walter Thompson and Red Cell, thereby splintering HSBC business among several agencies.

“Because [the review] is worldwide and covers all marketing disciplines, only a small number of organizations with global reach and a full suite of services have been invited to participate,” HSBC said, in a statement.

Other roster shops include IPG’s Lowe, the lead global agency on creative, and Publicis Groupe’s Zenith Media, which handles the bulk of HSBC’s media duties around the world. Another HSBC media agency is PHD, which handles planning and buying duties in the U.K.