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By Published on .

BankAmerica Corp. awarded its $60 million account to Deutsch, New York and Santa Monica, Calif., ending a protracted review.

The parent of the nation's No. 3 Bank of America postponed its decision several times in the review launched in November as it reconsidered long-term goals. Those issues included the balancing of broad and specific ad messages through a variety of media, from TV to the Internet.

BankAmerica selected Deutsch for its creativity and insights into the bank's marketing dilemmas as the institution undergoes unprecedented change and growth, a spokesman said.


"It's not just creativity we want-we also need strategy and market positioning as we evolve advertising for a multidimensional local and global delivery system," the spokesman said.

The first new advertising is expected to emerge "in the next few months," he added, and will include TV and print work targeting both U.S. and global consumers.

Other finalists were incumbent Ketchum Advertising, San Francisco; Team One, El Segundo, Calif.; and Bates USA, New York and Los Angeles.

EvansGroup, Seattle, also previously handled Bank of America.

The win is a coup for Deutsch, whose creative flair will now be tested. BankAmerica wants Bank of America ads to embrace technology and worldwide services while remaining accessible, warm and friendly to core customers.

"We're going to staff up both New York and L.A.," said Donny Deutsch, agency CEO.

Financial services is a category Deutsch has coveted. "It's one of the most dynamic categories you can get into," Mr. Deutsch said.

Bank of America's new push includes moving aggressively into territory east of the Rocky Mountains; it recently opened 50 branches in the Chicago area, primarily in supermarkets.

The company expects to add "a couple of hundred branches" in the Midwest as it expands its retail presence everywhere from supermarkets to convenience stores and other small-scale outlets. It's also offering a growing menu of services such as telephone lending, enhanced ATM use, home and Internet banking, and a variety of integrated banking services for consumer and commercial customers.


The account shift is a blow to Ketchum that could result in its merger into sister Omnicom Group shop TBWA Chiat/Day.

Although Ketchum continues to handle various Pacific Bell assignments, including Internet and long-distance services, plus a recently gained $30 million to $40 million in direct marketing business, the shop has suffered several other major losses in recent years.

"We've got a lot of Pacific Bell business," said Bruce Campbell, exec VP-chief creative officer of the office. He would not elaborate on Omnicom's plans for the shop.

The absorption of Ketchum would enable TBWA Chiat/Day to re-establish a presence in San Francisco, which it left in mid-1990.

Contributing: Alice Z. Cuneo, Laura Petrecca, Pat Sloan.

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