Online Exclusive: Account Action

CAPITAL ONE TO CONSOLIDATE ONLINE AD BUYING

Launches Review; Six Incumbent Agencies Invited to Participate

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Capital One has launched an agency review to consolidate its online advertising. A spokeswoman for the company confirmed that agencies have been invited to pitch for the consolidated online media-buying and -planning efforts.

Capital One has used online display advertising and search-engine marketing for several years across many lines of business, a spokeswoman said. The need to consolidate has come up as the company has grown, to increase buying power and improve coordination, she said.

Six incumbents
Efforts are currently handled by agencies including Publicis Groupe's MediaVest USA, New York; Time Warner's Advertising.com, Baltimore; and independents Reprise Media, New York; Page Zero Media, Toronto; and Marketleap and Questus, both in San Francisco.

Pile & Co. is handling the review, which is expected to be completed by spring. The incumbents have been invited to participate

The spokeswoman would not disclose spending. The banking company -- one of the largest credit-card issuers in the U.S. -- spent $220 million in media in January through October 2004, according to TNS Media Intelligence. The company maintains a strong online presence as part of its focus on direct marketing for new account acquisitions.