Semifinalists Emerge in Wells Fargo Review

Chemistry meetings will take place next month

Wells Fargo will meet with about a half-dozen shops before selecting a handful of finalists to pitch its creative business, sources said.

Sources said that the shops include TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif.; Draftfcb in San Francisco; Mullen in San Francisco; Venables Bell & Partners in San Francisco; BBDO in San Francisco and New York; and longtime incumbent DDB, which runs the business out of an office in Los Angeles.

Wells Fargo spends about $120 million in media annually.

The review does not include traditional media media planning and buying, which remains at OMD; digital creative and media responsibilities, which are handled by MRM and UM, respectively; and multicultural marketing, which is split among Muse, DAE and Acento. Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif. is managing the search.

DDB's relationship with the San Francisco-based bank dates back to 1995 and expanded with Wells Fargo's $12.7 billion acquisition of Wachovia in 2009. About 30 staffers work in DDB's Los Angeles office, which is overseen by agency leaders in San Francisco.

The agency meetings will take place early next month, sources said. The agencies either declined to comment or could not be reached and Wells Fargo could not immediately be reached. The bank is expected to complete its search in February.