WPP Wins $600 Mil. HSBC Group Account

NEW YORK HSBC Group has selected a team of WPP Group agencies to handle its $600 million global marketing services account after a three-way pitch among Interpublic, WPP and Omnicom, the client confirmed on Tuesday.

Ad efforts on the business will be led by J. Walter Thompson with help from sister shops Red Cell (including Berlin Cameron/Red Cell in New York), Bates Asia and Batey in China, said Peter Stringham, group general manager, marketing at the London-based client.

Media duties will be shared by lead shop MindShare and Maximise, while direct marketing duties will be handled by 141 and rmg:connect@jwt, Stringham said. In addition, Landor Associates will provide branding and corporate identity work. “WPP’s ability to coordinate those resources across HSBC’s footprint and to tailor them to our specific needs proved decisive,” said Stringham.

Managing the efforts of the nine shops will be Toby Hoare, former chairman at Bates Europe who becomes a global client leader at WPP, reporting to CEO Martin Sorrell.

Final presentations took place in London three weeks ago before a client panel of five. The pitches occurred over two days, with Omnicom going first, followed by WPP and IPG. Omnicom’s team was anchored by BBDO and IPG’s by Lowe, HSBC’s lead creative ad agency among four on the roster. Billings on Lowe’s business are estimated at $100 million.

Client executives also visited offices of contending shops in 13 major markets. The review, which began in January, aimed to reduce the number of shops working on the brand and align the business under a single holding company.