In a statement, Washington Mutual said Wolff Olins will work with its new advertising agency once it is selected by the end of the year. Washington Mutual and the search consultant, Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., both declined to discuss the agencies remaining in the review. However, Publicis in Seattle, part of Publicis Groupe, is believed to have been notified it is no longer in the review.
Others on the long list of contenders were Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, Marina del Rey, Calif.; Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/Day, San Francisco; independent Butler, Shine & Stern, Sausalito, Calif.; Publicis' Leo Burnett, Chicago, and independent Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago. Agencies either declined comment or did not return calls.
Chris Matthews, senior VP-advertising and branding, in the statement said the increasingly competitive financial services marketplace led him to select the branding shop to help the bank leverage its "consumer friendly" approach to its target middle-market consumers and small businesses.
Washington Mutual began the agency review this summer. Its longtime shop, Sedgwick Rd., an agency owned by the Interpublic and once the Seattle office of McCann Erickson Worldwide, produced a humorous campaign under the tagline "More human interest." The agency did not participate in the search.
Washington Mutual has more than 2,500 retail banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking and financial services offices nationally.