McCann Wins $170 Mil. Capital One Account

NEW YORK Capital One has awarded its estimated $170 million U.S. creative account to Interpublic Group’s McCann-Erickson in New York, a client representative confirmed. The shop’s London office will handle the U.K. portion of the business.

The win follows a review in which Publicis Groupe’s The Kaplan Thaler Group in New York partnered with sibling Publicis in London. The New York agency had been handling the account on an interim basis since the October announcement that the incumbent, D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, would be dismantled at the end of 2002.

Other contenders for the business were Omnicom’s Element 79 in Chicago, which pitched with AMV BBDO in London; and the independent shop Faulds in London, which pitched for the U.K. account only.

The McLean Va., client began reaching out to search consultants in October after the D’Arcy announcement.

D’Arcy won the Capital One account in 1999 and created the 4-year-old “What’s in your wallet?” campaign. The work used monkeys, Visigoths and scary monsters as a metaphor for credit card debt.

By November, Capital One hired Bob Wolf Partners/TPG in Los Angeles to manage the review process.

As D’Arcy was being folded, the Kaplan Thaler Group took over the day-to-day running of the business. The client has said that the account could have been split between agencies in the two different markets, and not necessarily given to the agencies that partnered together in the pitch.

In the end, however, the client wanted a global shop, whose management of the account in two markets would be seamless, sources said.

McCann also handles MasterCard. Capital One is an issuer of MasterCard and Visa.