Visa issues RFP for creative AOR
As the pandemic continues, more marketers are shaking up their agency mix. The latest is Visa, which announced Wednesday it was conducting a review for a creative global agency of record. A spokeswoman noted that it is “regular practice” for such an evaluation by Visa of external partners.
“This is a natural inflection point, a time of great introspection and change, and we want to challenge ourselves and our partners to ensure that the Visa brand continues to be one of the most powerful in the world, and a core asset of the Visa story,” she said in a statement. “It is a good time for us to understand the diversity of agencies and talent available to ensure that we bring our work to life globally in the most compelling and impactful way.”
Visa has been working with Omnicom agencies BBDO and TBWA for more than three decades. The brand currently works with BBDO and Saatchi & Saatchi; both were invited to pitch to retain the business. The estimated annual global media spend for Visa is $200 million, according to data compiled by Comvergence. The review is expected to conclude by the end of the year.
Neither BBDO nor Saatch & Saatchi immediately returned a request for comment. As an Olympics sponsor since 1986, Visa had to adjust its strategy earlier this year when the event was postponed. The company rolled out an Olympics-themed campaign with BBDO New York in which star athletes including skateboarder Sky Brown and BMX rider Kenneth Tencio performed tricks at home and offered safety tips on dealing with the coronavirus.
For the second quarter ended March 31, Visa reported net revenue of $5.9 billion, a 7 percent rise over the year-earlier period. The company is expected to report third-quarter earnings, which will include any coronavirus-related effect, on July 28.
Visa is not the only large brand taking a look at its external relationships. Drugstore giant Walgreens Boots Alliance in May issued an RFP for a global marketing and communications agency; the retailer was one of the first brands to put its agencies in review during the coronavirus. Others have followed: Kraft Heinz recently put its media account in review and Nissan-owned Infiniti is also reviewing its creative agency relationships.
Contributing: Lindsay Rittenhouse
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