Saatchis beats JWT to retain pan-Euro Visa task

Saatchi & Saatchi has retained Visa International’s dollars 40 million pan-European creative account following a pitch against three other agencies.

Saatchi & Saatchi has retained Visa International’s dollars 40

million pan-European creative account following a pitch against three

other agencies.



J. Walter Thompson, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Bartle Bogle Hegarty

were originally invited to pitch against Saatchis for the account, but

BBH withdrew to enable it to pitch for Barclaycard. Visa drew up a final

shortlist of Saatchis and JWT before deciding to retain the

incumbent.



Media, which is handled by CIA Medianetwork, is not affected.



Saatchis has scooped the below-the-line business from Interfocus as well

as winning the above-the-line account. The agency is preparing a new

above- and below-the-line campaign for Visa to run across Europe next

year.



Derek Bowden, chairman of Saatchis across Europe, said: ’We are

thrilled.



It’s been a challenging six months during the review process but to

retain such a prestigious account at a fascinating time in the

organisation’s development is very rewarding. To be awarded a total

communications assignment makes it even better.’



The victory is a welcome boost for Saatchis, which had to make 20

redundancies last month after a string of account losses.



Although Visa is the largest credit and debit card network worldwide

with 600 million cards in circulation, it has come under increasing

pressure in Europe from its rivals, Mastercard and American Express.

Pitching agencies were asked to present ideas on rejuvenating the brand

and making clear to consumers how Visa operates.



Visa has dropped its UK debit sub-brand, Delta, for which Saatchis

created the ’kerching!’ ads starring Mel Smith. In future, Visa’s debit

cards will carry the Visa name and the words ’debit card’.



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