NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Ishares, the exchange-traded fund unit that British banking giant Barclays sold to BlackRock earlier this year, has tapped Interpublic Group's McCann Erickson and MRM, both in San Francisco, to handle advertising and relationship marketing, executives familiar with the matter said.
Ad duties were previously handled by independent Venables Bell & Partners in San Francisco, while the relationship-marketing portion was previously at WPP's Ogilvy. Venables was invited to defend the account when it went into review earlier this year, but declined to participate, executives said.
The review came as Ishares' former parent, Barclays Global Investors, sold the unit to Blackrock in a play to raise capital. Ishares -- which is expected to ramp up its ad budget to between $60 million and $70 million -- sought a new agency team to communicate its new identity in the marketplace.
A final round of the pitch included WPP-owned Ogilvy, Interpublic Group-owned DraftFCB, and Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, though the latter pulled out of the review before the final presentations, execs said.
Representatives for Ishares declined to comment.
McCann will launch an integrated-campaign early next year, executives said, while MRM will handle relationship-marketing work.