It’s Official: Martin Agency Wins Discover

NEW YORK Discover Financial Services has selected The Martin Agency to handle creative duties on its ad account, the client has confirmed. Estimated billings are $80 million.

Three other shops contended for the business: Young & Rubicam, Foote Cone & Belding and TM Advertising, according to sources.

In the end, however, the client narrowed its focus to Interpublic Group’s Martin in Richmond, Va., and WPP Group’s Y&R, whose Chicago office led its pitch, said sources.

Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., ran the search.

John Adams Jr., chairman and CEO of Martin, said the shop’s upcoming integrated campaign will “make a deeper connection” with Discover customers by focusing on member benefits.

The four shops made presentations to the Riverview, Ill.-based client on March 22-23.

Discover, which is owned by Morgan Stanley, split with Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco last November after the agency opted to pursue creative duties on Visa USA’s $335 million account. That business was eventually awarded to Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif.

Cut from Discover contention in an earlier round were: IPG’s Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis and independent agencies RPA in Santa Monica, Calif., and Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago, and WPP Group’s Grey Worldwide in New York, according to sources.

Media duties, currently at Publicis Groupe’s Starcom USA in Chicago, were not in play.

The client spent $75 million last year in measured media, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

This story updates an item posted earlier today with client confirmation and other details.