Saatchi & Saatchi has retained Visa International’s dollars 40
million pan-European creative account following a pitch against three
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
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
Derek Bowden, chairman of Saatchis across Europe, said: ’We are
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’.