WESTERN UNION NARROWS REVIEW TO FOUR

Ad Spending Is Expected to Increase for 2005

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Less than two weeks after splitting with J. Walter Thompson, Chicago, Western Union has chosen four agencies to move into the final round of competition to handle its advertising responsibilities, according to a knowledgeable executive.

The four agencies participating in the next

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phase of competition are Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago; Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York, which is 49%-owned by Publicis; Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, San Francisco; and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis.

Agencies will present ideas and creative with a decision expected in the next six weeks, the executive said.

'360-degree' approach
Western Union, owned by First Data Corp, had worked with JWT, part of WPP Group, since the spring of 2002. When news of the review broke earlier this month, an executive familiar with the marketer's plans said the company expected to shift its focus from TV to a more "360-degree" approach.

In 2003, Western Union spent $15.4 million in measured media, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, but that figure is expected to increase in the coming year.

The review is being handled by Now Inc., Southport, Conn. A call to the consultant was not returned by press time. Western Union did not return calls by deadline.

Western Union, based in Denver, provides money transfers to consumers in more than 195 countries.

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