(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) has put its advertising account up for review as it seeks to mold a new image for a company that has changed significantly since the financial crisis and suffered repeated blows to its brand.
The second-largest bank notified advertising agencies of its plans on Wednesday and expects to make a decision in April, a person familiar with the situation said. The move will influence about $2 billion in annual marketing.
Bank of America last underwent an advertising review in 2006. The next year it debuted its current “Bank of Opportunity” tagline, which replaced its “Higher Standards” campaign.
Since that review, Bank of America has added the Merrill Lynch brokerage force and become more global. It has also seen its brand tarnished by government bailouts, a falling stock price and an ill-fated attempt to implement a $5 per-month debit card fee last fall.
Bank of America’s current agencies, including Omnicom Group Inc’s (OMC.N) Hill Holliday, Publicis Groupe SA’s (PUBP.PA) Digitas and WPP’s (WPP.L) Brand Union have been invited to vie for the business. Bank of America spent a total of $1.7 billion on marketing through the first nine months of 2011.
The new advertising is supposed to signal that it’s a “new day” at the bank, despite “ongoing challenges we are addressing,” according to a document sent to the agencies.
Reporting By Rick Rothacker; Editing by Phil Berlowitz