J.P Morgan Chase Talks to IPG Shops About New Assignment

NEW YORK J.P. Morgan Chase is soliciting strategic ideas from at least two Interpublic Group agencies for a new credit card assignment, the client confirmed.

“There is a strategic credit-card assignment that is being looked at,” said client representative Catherine Keary. “FCB, as you know, is our agency of record [creatively]. FCB along with other [agency] teams are taking a look at it for us.” Keary would not disclose further details about the assignment except to say that it is a new one.

Foote, Cone & Belding created J.P. Morgan Chase’s “The right relationship is everything” campaign, and when asked why the shop was not automatically given the assignment, Keary said, “We frequently ask for different views on assignments. We want more than a single view.” The client spent about $40 million in media from January to October of 2002, per CMR.

She said she could not confirm which other agencies would be involved. But sources said client executives were scheduled to meet later this week with Deutsch, also a roster shop, which handles the client’s B2B direct business.

David Nolan is J.P. Morgan Chase’s svp of advertising, and Nick Utton joined the company last month as evp, CMO for retail and middle-market businesses. Keary declined to comment on whether Nolan and Utton were among the executives who would be meeting with agencies for this assignment, which a source said involves a co-branded arrangement with MasterCard.

IPG’s McCann-Erickson is lead creative agency for MasterCard, having created the “Priceless” campaign, and Utton, a former MasterCard marketing executive worked with the agency while there in the late 1990s. Sources said McCann would not be participating in the review for the assignment, whose billings could not immediately be determined.

Representatives and executives at the agencies all declined comment.