Visa reviews $450 million media business

Visa International is reviewing its $450 million global media planning and buying business.

Sources said that Visa has embarked on an internal review, but is some way short of calling a global pitch. The ownership structure of Visa, with its US and European entities effectively operating as separate companies, could complicate the situation.

Visa's spend is skewed towards the US market, where its media budget is $333 million. OMD USA is Visa's agency in the US.

OMD also handles Visa's $20 million account in Asia, having won the account in 2000. Mediaedge:cia handles the £5 million UK account as part of a European relationship with Visa.

Visa's creative agency relationships (it uses Saatchi & Saatchi across Europe and BBDO in the US) are unaffected by the media review.

Earlier this year, Visa ran its first UK-specific ad campaign for ten years. Much of its global activity is based around its Olympic sponsorship, a deal which remains in place for the 2008 and 2012 games.

In common with many US-based companies, Visa is increasingly looking at moving adspend into new media channels. In April, it appointed Jon Raj to the new role of vice-president, online advertising and emerging media platforms.