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Less than a month after awarding its $100 million U.S. ad account to McCann-Erickson Worldwide, MasterCard International is re-evaluating the agency setup on its nearly $400 million global business.

MasterCard currently works with D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in Asia, Publicis in the U.K. and McCann in Africa and the Middle East. McCann is also a contender in a $15 million review for MasterCard's Latin American business, currently at Foote, Cone & Belding.

Advertising in the European countries that belong to MasterCard affiliate Europay are handled by local shops in each nation.


"We're looking at whether [the multi-agency structure] is the most efficient model," said Joseph V. Tripodi, exec VP-global marketing for MasterCard. "We're looking at what's the best model going forward."

Mr. Tripodi would not say whether the card marketer wants to consolidate the account or reduce the number of agencies working on it. He said the solution may simply be to encourage the agencies to work more closely together.

"We are trying to build a consensus with regions and members around the world," he said.

Mr. Tripodi lauded McCann's extensive international network and said the theme of the agency's new U.S. advertising, which he didn't disclose, should help build the MasterCard brand. But he said McCann isn't a shoo-in for more work if there is a change in the agency structure.

"They won't be handed the business," he said.


A decision on the Latin business is expected in November. FCB declined to participate and four agencies are pitching. Along with McCann, MasterCard identified only one other, J. Walter Thompson, Miami.

In the past, MasterCard has been bedeviled by friction between its internal global and domestic marketing forces over advertising and strategic direction (AA, March 17).

Indeed, the dissatisfaction of MasterCard's U.S. marketing force with ads from Ammirati Puris

Lintas, New York, is said to have spurred the U.S. review that led to McCann being tapped.

Advertising from McCann is expected to start running in October.

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