Foote Cone & Belding plans to set up a direct marketing wing before the end of the summer.
This will be the first major move by the agency since it formally split with the Publicis network in April.
The direct division will be fully integrated into the agency and FCB chief executive Chris Rendel says it will work almost exclusively on existing accounts, which include Nestlé, Associated Newspapers and Kimberly-Clark.
He says two of the agency’s financial services clients – understood to include Citibank – have already committed themselves to using direct facilities within the agency.
Citibank currently works with MBO-RCF below the line.
FCB has a number of other financial services clients including Alex Lawrie and Royal London Insurance.
The creation of the new division is likely to be announced within the next month and should be established by the end of the summer. Rendel is in the process of recruiting a divisional head for the operation.
FCB is the 23rd largest agency in the UK, with billings of 62m (AC Nielsen-MEAL 1996).