Standard Chartered Bank has served notice on its Hong Kong agencies as part of a global alignment of its entire ad business with WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson Co.
Hong Kong is Standard Chartered Bank's biggest market and is the recipient of the bank's highest adspend. Existing agencies Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote Cone & Belding and Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett Worldwide have been informed of the decision and JWT will assume the business from Nov. 1.
Having worked with a variety of ad agencies across more than 50 countries worldwide, Standard Chartered is believed to be gradually phasing out its multi-agency arrangement, and aiming for global advertising alignment by the middle of 2002.
The decision is the result of a study showing the financial and branding benefits of using one ad group. JWT was selected after a competitive pitch. The agency will be working alongside undisclosed fellow WPP companies.
A Standard Chartered spokesperson says the move will not result in a name change, but that research had shown the basic branding developed in 1969 when Standard and Chartered merged was in need of "refreshment."