Initiative Media has gained pounds 66 million worth of billings by
picking up the international account for an unnamed online banking
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
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
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
David Cuff is Initiative’s broadcast director and Charmaine Oakley is
its media planning manager. Trevor Williams heads the international