Banking outfit awards pounds 66m brief to Initiative

Initiative Media has gained pounds 66 million worth of billings by picking up the international account for an unnamed online banking venture.

Initiative Media has gained pounds 66 million worth of billings by

picking up the international account for an unnamed online banking

venture.



The account is worth pounds 13 million in the UK. It comes as a welcome

boost to Initiative, which recently lost Peugeot-Citroen and Louis

Vuitton Moet Hennessey to Carat.



Initiative’s London office, headed by Roy Jeans, will be responsible for

the pan-European planning and buying for the launch of the venture, as

well as media in Asia and Canada.



It is not clear who will handle the UK planning and buying as the agency

is expected to restructure in the light of recent events.



It is thought Initiative is now in talks to finalise its reshuffle

strategy, although it has until January before it hands over the

Peugeot-Citroen account to Carat and BBJ.



The unnamed online banking service will launch in the UK later this

year.



It is a joint venture between the financial broker Merrill Lynch and

clearing bank HSBC. The venture will provide online banking, brokerage

and funds services.



It will also offer staffed investment centres - high street shops where

people can learn how to use the new services.



The service is aimed at everyone with a bank account and claims it can

offer greater control over savings. Customers will be able to have one

account for both credit and equity investments.



HSBC and Merrill Lynch are investing up to pounds 660 million in the

service.



The business will also roll out in Canada, Japan, Australia and Germany

at the end of this year. It will not be available in the US.



Initiative Media is probably best known for its Unilever account. It

also handles media planning and buying for Tefal, Mobil Oil and Del

Monte.



David Cuff is Initiative’s broadcast director and Charmaine Oakley is

its media planning manager. Trevor Williams heads the international

department.



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