CommBank set to pitch $44m media account, Ikon again on alert

CBAThe Commonwealth Bank is set to call a review of its media account and is expected to invite a select number of media agencies to pitch for the high profile banking client.

The news is another blow for STW majority-owned Ikon coming just a week after the agency lost the $17m Diageo account, with CommBank a foundation client of the media agency.

Rumours of a potential pitch have been circulating for many months, with OMD, ZenithOptimedia, Carat and Initiative all tipped to be in the pitch as they are the main media agencies who do not have a conflict, alongside incumbent Ikon.

All of the agencies contacted by Mumbrella declined to comment however it is understood that a number of agencies have been sounded out and told to prepare.

CBA confirmed the pitch in a statement from Vittoria Shortt CommBank CMO saying:

“We have enjoyed a successful relationship with Ikon for the past 15 years. As a key partner, they have made a significant contribution to our business.

“In the six years since our last agency review, both the media landscape and our brands have evolved which has prompted our decision to explore the market.”

“The agency review applies to various businesses across the CommBank Group and will take place in the coming months. Ikon Communications will be included in the process.”

GroupM is thought not to be involved in the pitch, with three banks already represented in the WPP group. Mediacom represents Westpac/St George while Mindshare has National Australia Bank.

Of the other major bank media accounts PHD holds ANZ, while UM has ING Direct and Starcom has Suncorp.

According to Nielsen, the Commonwealth Bank has a media spendin the year to June 2014 of $44.1m, well down on the previous year where it spent $59.2m as the bank pushed hard with its Can campaign.

The announcement is another major body blow to Ikon, which in the last 12 months has lost a string of clients including $30m Coca-Cola account, $22.5m Vodafone account, $8m SPC Ardmona account, and most recently the move of Diageo to a Leo Burnett/Mediavest collaboration.

Ikon CEO James Greet has generally kept a low media profile since taking the role in April of 2013 following the sudden departure of Dan Johns and most of the senior management team. 

Nic Christensen 


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