Two Mass. Banks Seek Shops

Two regional banks, Rockland Trust and Century Bank, have launched agency searches.

Rockland Trust has hired Pile and Co. to oversee the search for its $2-3 million account, which has been with Pierce-Coté, Osterville, Mass., for two years. The incumbent de-clined an invitation to participate, said shop president Rebecca Pierce, who would not elaborate. The agency had created print and collateral carrying the tag, “We’re all the bank you’ll ever need.”

The client seeks a shop that can help it expand both within and beyond its current geographic base, said marketing director Richard Hall. Based in Rockland, Mass., Rockland operates about 50 branches in southeastern Massachusetts and on Cape Cod.

Another key goal, Hall said, is to better communicate the bank’s offerings in key areas such as retail, commercial and investment banking, as well as create more synergy among the three in its marketing.

“We’re looking to extend creatively and strategically through different marketing channels, while bringing all three [business areas] together in our branding as we continue to grow,” Hall said.

Both Hall and Pile and Co. evp Judy Neer declined to name the agencies that have been invited to participate. Semifinalists will be named before month’s end, with a decision expected in mid-December.

About a dozen smaller, creatively-driven agencies with banking experience have been approached—and at least that many have in-quired about participating, sources said. Though a New England shop is preferred, agencies from New York and the Southeast may be considered, sources said.

Century Bank in Medford, Mass., needs a shop to replace Bos-ton’s Connelly & Partners, which resigned the account in September when it merged with CGN Marketing & Creative Services. CGN client Eastern Bank posed a conflict.

Century has received materials from some 40 agencies since the merger was announced about six weeks ago, said client marketing director Maureen Matranga. She plans to meet with agencies in the coming weeks, with a decision expected in January.

Spending levels have not been finalized, Matranga said. With 20 branches in the greater Boston area, Century has done little advertising in recent years. Sources said a budget of less than $1 million is expected.