KeyCorp Resets Agency Lineup

Midwest regional bank KeyCorp has split its $20 million account between Northlich and Gerbig, Snell/Weisheimer & Associates without a review. The assignment comes after the client parted with Campbell Mithun.

Northlich in Cincinnati was awarded the consumer portion of the account. Columbus, Ohio-based GSW was assigned KeyCorp’s business-to-business work, said Karen Haefling, the company’s chief marketing officer.

The Cleveland-based bank terminated its two-year relationship with CM in Minneapolis following an internal review of all its vendors, Haefling said. An agency representative confirmed the split.

Media buying and planning, also handled by CM, will be shifted too, but the bank has not decided whether to take the duties in-house or place them with an agency, Haefling said.

KeyCorp spent $20 million on advertising over the first nine months of 2001, according to CMR. But the bank plans on increasing spending this year and in the next several years, Haefling said.

The agency changes grew partly from the bank’s wish to have separate shops concentrate on its two “complex” marketing components, as opposed to having one shop handle all the business, Haefling said.

“As we continue to build our brand, we thought it would be better to partner with several agencies as opposed to one,” Haefling said.

Both Northlich and GSW were candidates for the job in part be-cause both use the bank and have long-standing relationships with KeyCorp, Haefling said. “We know their strengths and capabilities,” she said.

KeyCorp will become one of Northlich’s largest accounts, said Rick Miller, the shop’s executive vice president and managing director. John Bloomstrom, Northlich’s senior vice president and director of business development, will manage the business, Miller said.

Bloomstrom previously oversaw financial services accounts at Northlich, such as Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, an account the agency had about six years ago.

The most recent campaign for KeyCorp from CM used the tagline, “Achieve anything,” which the bank plans to continue.

In the CM spots, a girl watches a shooting star with her father and grows up to achieve a PhD in astro-nomy, while a small business, aided by financial planning and resources, becomes a large company.