Sovereign Selects P+S

BOSTON Sovereign Bancorp said it has selected Partners + Simons here to handle its ad account following a review. Estimated billings are $12-15 million.

The independent Boston shop had worked for the Philadelphia-based bank on a project basis, and was not previously known to have been involved in the review, which was conducted by consultancy Pile and Co. here.

New York-based Interpublic Group agencies Foote Cone & Belding, Gotham and Lowe also contended, according to sources [Adweek Online, Jan. 13].

After spending about $5 million on ads last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, sources said the client would likely hike spending into the $12-15 million range in 2006. Much of that would likely be used to bolster the bank’s position in New England against competitors Bank of America and Citizens Bank.

Sources said Sovereign, the nation’s 19th largest bank with approximately $60 billion in assets and 650 locations in the Northeast, is looking to portray itself as a more substantial player as it continues to grow.

Recent work has stressed customer service and has no tagline.

—Adweek staff report