Updated: SunTrust in Play

NEW YORK SunTrust is conducting an advertising review following its split with lead creative agency Young & Rubicam, the client said today.

Both creative and media duties are in play and the creative piece includes online marketing chores now at VML here, a unit of WPP Group’s Y&R Brands, a bank representative said. The media incumbent is WPP’s Maxus in New York.

Atlanta-based consultancy The Bedford Group will manage the process, according to the rep. Bedford Group handled SunTrust’s last big review, in 2005, which resulted in the hiring of Y&R in New York. Y&R declined to comment, but sources attributed the split to the shop’s pursuit of rival bank Wachovia.

Y&R is among seven agency teams that Wachovia is visiting en route to selecting a handful of finalists for its estimated $145 million marketing services account.

SunTrust spent nearly $50 million in major measured media last year and about $13 million in the first three months of 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

The bank said in a statement that “after careful consideration and evaluation of our relationship with Y&R over the past three years, and in conjunction with our new chief marketing officer putting a top priority on energizing our brand even further, we have determined the timing is right for us to make a change in agencies.”

In June, Rilla Delorier succeeded Craig Kelly as CMO. Previously, Delorier, 41, had been a senior vice president and director of marketing for SunTrust’s wealth and investment management division. Kelly, 62, retired after 11 years at the bank.

Based in Atlanta, SunTrust is a regional bank that claims more than 1,600 retail branches in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

This story updates an earlier item with the news that SunTrust has launched a review. It also updates spending to include the bank’s online outlay.