MasterCard is understood to have appointed Publicis to an estimated 12.5m account covering what is described as its non-US “marketing projects”.
The agency, which handles the credit card company’s UK branding work, produced ads for its sponsorship of the Euro 96 football championship last year and will handle a similar project for its involvement in next year’s World Cup in France.
But the new appointment would be the first time the French-owned agency has handled work outside the UK or its own domestic market. Sources suggest Publicis will produce all TV work for promotions and sponsorships outside the US.
Senior MasterCard executives in the US are also keen to give the brand greater prominence across Europe than that achieved by its sister brand EuroCard. It is unclear whether that forms part of the Publicis brief.
MasterCard is in the middle of reviewing its $80m (50m) US account which was previously held by Ammirati Puris Lintas. APL has decided not to repitch for the US business, apparently because of differences over strategy. Both Bates USA and the media buying agency Guraisch Spence Darilek & McClure have been linked with the account.
But MasterCard has two other New York-based divisions which handle sponsorship and global marketing (non-US), which includes everything from its involvement in Formula One racing to football.