SRI to Guide $120 Mil. Wachovia Pitch

NEW YORK Wachovia has confirmed hiring Select Resources International to oversee a review of its online and offline creative and media.

Officials at Santa Monica, Calif.-based SRI could not immediately be reached for comment, but a representative at the client in Charlotte, N.C., confirmed that the consultancy has been engaged. The process is expected to finish in the third quarter, the rep said.

Wachovia spent $120 million in measured media last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Interpublic Group’s Mullen in Winston-Salem, N.C., has handled offline creative and media since 2001. Aegis Group’s Carat Interactive in Boston has handled online chores since 2003.

The incumbents are invited to defend and are expected to participate.

Management changes at Wachovia are driving the review. Art Smith, director of global brand management, who joined Wachovia in December from a unit of H&R Block, and CMO Ranjana Clark, a longtime bank executive who ascended to the top marketing slot a year ago, will be the key decision makers in the review.

Another key motivation is the length of time the incumbents have worked on the business, the rep said, adding that the move to review is not based on displeasure with either agency’s performance.

This item updates an earlier post with Wachovia’s confirmation.