J.P. Morgan Media in Review

By Cristina Merrill

NEW YORK–J. P. Morgan & Co. intends to hire an agency or a buying service to handle its estimated $10-12 million media buying account.

George Shakespear, a vice president responsible for the New York-based banking concern’s corporate advertising, confirmed that a search is under way.

‘We are looking for alternatives for media buying,’ he said. He declined to give any further details.

Citigate Albert Frank, which has been producing and placing J.P.

Morgan’s transactional announcements for over 90 years and buying its media for a couple of years, will continue to buy the media until a new agency is found, sources said. It is unclear why Citigate, based in New York, and J.P. Morgan are parting ways over the media buying.

SFM Media Corp. in New York handled media buying duties before Citigate, sources said.

The search does not affect creative duties. The Colligan Group, also in New York, recently picked up the creative portion of the client’s corporate advertising efforts. Creative duties for J.P. Morgan’s private banking business were handled by Goldsmith/Jeffrey. But the two split after Goldsmith was acquired by Lowe & Partners/SMS, which handles J.P. Morgan competitor Citicorp.

Executives at the Colligan Group and Citigate either declined comment or could not be reached at press time.

J.P. Morgan, the nation’s fourth-largest bank in terms of assets, launched an $8 million ad campaign last October to position itself as a wholesome financial partner.

With the tagline ‘Morgan means more,’ the ads tout the company’s global expertise in mergers and acquisitions, asset management and loan syndication.

The institution has been closely watched on Wall Street as it is likely to be the first commercial bank to break into the ranks of the top securities firms.

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