Stalled second look
Together, the three agencies made up Commerce's second pass at a review for a full-service advertising agency. The first round started in the spring when the bank took a look at WPP Group's Berlin Cameron United and sibling Grey Worldwide as well as MDC Partners' Cliff Freeman & Partners and Interpublic's Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos. The account has been with Interpublic's Tierney Communications, Philadelphia.
One person familiar with the situation said agencies were left in the dark after Commerce Bank's chairman of the board and president, Vernon W. Hill II, went on vacation over the summer and the company went quiet.
The bank had not returned calls for comment by press time. The agencies declined to comment.
Could be a win
Unless the Cherry Hill, N.J. based-bank decides to go for a third try, this could be a solid win for Gotham.
According to TNS Media Intelligence, Commerce Bank spent $10 million on advertising across all media platforms in 2005. In the first two quarters of 2006 it had already spent $9 million. The bank is well-known for its ubiquitous free pens, consumer-friendly coin counters and TV spots starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and, more recently, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa.