JPMorgan Chase Keeps Incumbent Zenith

Bank denies review is on hold

After conducting a media review earlier this year, JPMorgan Chase said it is keeping its business at incumbent Zenith Media.

Last week multiple sources told Adweek the banking giant informed agencies its $400 million review was put on hold until early next year because Chase was unable to forge internal consensus about it. They were told the Publicis Groupe unit would continue to handle Chase’s media planning and buying until the search is reinstated. The review was kicked off by Chase’s procurement office in a move which caught the bank’s marketing execs by surprise, sources said.  

While it could not be determined which agencies made presentations to the bank, last meetings were held recently as August, per sources. Last week Chase declined to comment, as did Zenith, on assertions the review was placed on hold.

Since then, Laura Rossi, a Chase representative, issued this rebuttal from Marianne Samenko, head of brand and advertising for Chase Card Services:

“In response to the Adweek article entitled ‘JP Morgan Chase Media Review On Hold’ I want to confirm that Zenith continues to be our media agency after winning a review earlier this year,” Samenko said in a statement. “We have worked with Zenith since 2005 and that relationship is not currently under review.” 

When pressed about the use of  “currently,” in that statement, the Chase rep further clarified: “The Chase Card/Retail RFP for a media agency is not on hold, has been closed and Zenith was awarded the business. We do routinely meet with agencies to review capabilities and as a normal course of business, Chase reviews all agencies every three to four years.”