Capital One Bank Reviews Creative Account

Steve’s breakdown: We reported back in December that the media portion of this account went into review. It was only a matter of time before the creative would too. And it’s about time. Their creative is embarrassing!

McLEAN, VA: Capital One’s banking division is reviewing its creative business, now split between DDB and Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners.

In terms of annual revenue, the account is estimated at $5 million. Media spending on Capital One banks exceeded $65 million last year, down 51 percent from about $135 million in 2009, according to Nielsen. Those figures don’t include online spending.

An estimated dozen agencies have responded to an initial request for proposals, which was issued by Boston-based consultancy Pile + Co. Based on the submissions, Capital One executives will narrow the field. The incumbents are not participating.

DDB handles its portion of the banking account at its Chicago office, which also creates the “What’s in Your Wallet?” ads for Capital One credit cards. Kirshenbaum runs its business out of New York.

Credit card advertising, which last year was backed by nearly $195 million in media, is not in play. Likewise, Capital One is not reviewing its media planning and buying account, which remains at Horizon in New York. All told, Capital One spent more than $265 million in media last year, up 89 percent from about $140 million in 2009, according to Nielsen.

The review comes amid Capital One’s $9 billion acquisition of online banking player ING Direct. That deal is expected to close in late 2011 or early 2012.

DDB’s relationship with Capital One dates back to 2004. Kirshenbaum also has worked on the brand for seven years.

Capital One, which is based in McLean, Va., could not immediately be reached, and Pile president Judy Neer declined to comment.

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