Charlotte, N.C.--In a major boost to the moribund Fortune 500 marketing marketplace, Bank of America Corp. announced it would raise its b-to-b and business-to-consumer advertising budget next year by 45% to $145 million. Bozell New York will produce the company's 2002 ads, details of which were not available. The announcement of the expanded budget comes less than a year after B of A hired Dan Roselli, formerly VP-marketing at distilling giant Allied Dome plc, as its brand and communications executive, a newly created position. B of A has been among the most aggressive financial institutions in b-to-b e-commerce and direct marketing initiatives, and is a keen partner of technology companies such as SAP AG and Integral Development Corp. B of A's move underscores its active b-to-b marketing strategy amid the economic downturn. In recent months, the bank has introduced b-to-b trade credit financing and foreign exchange marketing hubs with eVolution Global Partners L.P. and Bloomberg L.P., respectively. Most of its large banking competitors have been scaling back e-hub programs and holding steady on advertising budgets. Separately, B of A announced that this week it is launching two new TV ads, aimed at business and consumers, that will run on national and cable TV networks. Print renditions of the ads, which emphasize the company's first-mover history-it was the first bank to used a computer, and the first to market credit cards-will begin running by the end of the year. The new ads are part of a broader campaign started by Bozell last September. Los Angeles filmmaker Tony Kaye, director of the 1998 film "American History X," directed the new ads.
-PHILIP B. CLARK