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Ogilvy Won't Handle Wachovia After All

Bank Has Bypassed Agency in Favor of DDB Following Merger Limbo

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- It's final: Ogilvy & Mather isn't going to work for Wachovia.

Wachovia in September handed its marketing account to a WPP Group team led by Ogilvy after a lengthy pitch. The agency triumphed over creative shops including Lowe, Merkley & Partners and WPP sibling Y&R in the competition for Wachovia's business. But the celebration was short-lived: Just days after the win came news that the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank would merge with Citibank. That merger was later scrapped in favor of a marriage with Wells Fargo, but Wachovia in the interim "paused the finalization" of its contract with Ogilvy.

What's finally transpired, though, is that the shop has been bypassed in favor of Omnicom Group's DDB, executives familiar with the matter said.

They said the brand is working with DDB's New York office; Wells Fargo's creative agency is DDB, Los Angeles. Agency representatives and the marketer either could not be reached or declined to comment.

Particularly frustrating
The win and subsequent loss of the business would be frustrating for any shop, but it's particularly so in this case because Ogilvy so rarely chases new business. Instead, it historically has focused on growing business organically via existing client relationships.

Wachovia last year spent a not-so-shabby $145 million on marketing, though the company issued guidance earlier this year that its budget would shrink in light of ailing market conditions.

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