ZENITH OPTIMEDIA WINS J.P. MORGAN CHASE ACCOUNT

Will Handle Media Buying and Planning

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- J.P. Morgan Chase has selected Publicis Groupe's Zenithmedia, part of Zenith Optimedia Group, to handle media buying and planning for the bank, according to executives familiar with the matter.
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The bank's decision follows a review that included Aegis Group's Carat, Havas' MPG, and Zenith.

A spokesman for J.P Morgan Chase would not comment "on rumors and speculation." Calls to the agencies were not returned at press time.

Largest private bank in U.S.
J.P. Morgan Chase is the new entity created by the July 1 merger of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Bank One Corp. The merger created a network of 2,300 retail bank branches in 17 states and the largest private bank in the U.S. Carat was the media incumbent for Bank One, while Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative Media handled media for Chase. Initiative was not involved in the final round of competition for the combined company's account.

According to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, J.P. Morgan Chase spent $43 million in measured media in 2003; Bank One spent $143 million.

In August, J.P. Morgan Chase selected independent agency McGarry Bowen, New York, to handle creative duties on its retail banking business after a review. When that announcement was made, spending was estimated at $300 million.

Zenith's selection in one aspect mirrors the advertising-and-marketing decision made in August -- no incumbent shops were retained. One of the agencies chasing the creative account was another independent, Gardner Nelson Partners, New York, which had worked on Bank One. Carat was the incumbent for Bank One and had been handling media duties for the combined entities since the July 1 merger.

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