Discover Selects Martin Agency for $80 Million Ad Account

Shop Charged With Broadening Card's Appeal

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NEW YORK ( -- Discover Financial is moving its $80 million advertising account to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., according to executives familiar with the situation.
The decision follows a review involving finalists Interpublic's TM Advertising, Irving, Texas, and FCB, Chicago, as well as WPP Group's Y&R, Chicago. Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., conducted the search.

Goodby was previous agency
Discover and its previous agency, Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, parted ways last year following Goodby's decision to participate in Visa USA's pitch, ultimately won by Omnicom sibling TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa Del Rey, Calif.

Discover's media-buying and planning account remains at Publicis Groupe's Starcom USA.

Discover, owned by Morgan Stanley, trails Visa, Mastercard and American Express and had less than 5% share of purchase volume in 2005, according to the Nilson Report, a newsletter for the credit-card industry.

Image limitations
"The biggest challenge for the new agency is creating something that broadens the appeal," said David Robertson, the Nilson Report's publisher. "The image has been defined by the product's limitations for a long time." He said the agency will have to help Discover broaden the flagship card's appeal and launch a new debit-card product.

A Martin representative referred calls to the Discover, which couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
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