HSBC Keeps JWT, Adds Grey and Saatchi to Roster

Bank Spends More than $300 Million in Global Measured Media

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HSBC has completed a major agency review it launched last fall, the result of which is an expansion of its agency roster. Incumbent JWT is retaining much of the HSBC account, but its WPP sibling Grey and Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi have picked up work for the bank, Ad Age has learned.

A HSBC spokesman confirmed that JWT and sibling agency Grey are both the lead agencies now, whereas JWT was the sole lead shop prior to the review. Meanwhile Publicis Groupe is benefiting by stealing a chunk of the business from WPP.

It's a move that's counter to the trend these days of marketers reducing the number of partners they work with for ad duties. It's also surprising since and management consultancy Efficio, which is focused on procurement and cost reduction in the supply chain, handled the review process. The pitch began late last year and a media review is being handled separately. It's believed that incumbent Group M is involved.

"This has been an exhaustive and thorough review, with input from our four global businesses and five regions, and we're extremely grateful for the contributions and professionalism of all the agencies involved," said Chris Clark, group general manager and global head of marketing said in a statement to Ad Age. "We are confident that the working practices of our strategic partners will align to our own operating model, supporting our aim to be the world's leading international bank."

JWT is keeping global brand marketing, the retail business in Asia, Middle East and North America, the global private banking business and it's believed it will handle the bank's 150th anniversary campaign. Grey will handle the retail business in Latin America and Europe in addition to the commercial banking division. Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi will handle premier, wealth and sponsorship work for the brand.

JWT and a host of other WPP agencies won the business in 2004. At the time, it was one of the first global holding-company reviews. HSBC is one of the top 100 global advertisers by spending. According to Ad Age's DataCenter, worldwide measured-media spending is about $327 million. However, other spending in unmeasured media may add another $200 million to the account.

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