Bank of America Moves Some Business Back to Interpublic

Despite Shift, Holding-Company Approach Still in Place With Omnicom

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- More than a year after consolidating its marketing account at Omnicom Group, Bank of America has moved a slice of that business back to rival holding company Interpublic Group of Cos.
IPG's Hill Holliday picks up a slice of work from Bank of America.
IPG's Hill Holliday picks up a slice of work from Bank of America. Credit: AP

Bank of America today announced that Interpublic's Hill Holliday Connors Cosmopulos has been awarded marketing duties for its Global Wealth and Investment Management division. The work, which doesn't represent a huge transfer of revenue or billings, had been at Omnicom's Doremus, and the shift came without a formal review.

Holding-company approach
The Bank of America-Omnicom relationship began in fall 2005 when the bank consolidated its $600 million marketing account at Omnicom following a high-profile review. But executives familiar with the companies said that Anne Finucane, who was named the bank's chief marketing officer last year, is less devoted to the holding-company approach than her predecessor, Cathy Bessant. Ms. Bessant installed that model in a 2002 review that led to the consolidation of the marketer's business at Interpublic.

A Bank of America spokesman, however, denied that, saying "the holding-company model still delivers considerable value and efficiencies and provides consistency and synergies for our marketing strategy." The spokesman said Omnicom remains the bank's "lead agencies" and that the marketer has a history of working with agencies outside its main holding company, namely independents Lopez Negrete for Hispanic market work and RF Binder for public relations.

Asked whether any more work would be shifted out of Omnicom, the spokesman said, "Not that I'm aware of."

Both Ms. Finucane and Brian Moynihan, president of the Global Wealth and Investment Management division, are acquainted with Hill Holliday from their days at FleetBoston Financial Corp. Fleet was bought by Bank of America in 2003.
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