Publicis keeps 6m Mastercard

Publicis has hung on to the 6m UK advertising account for the global payment system Mastercard.

According to sources close to the pitch, Mastercard was near to awarding the account to Ammirati Puris Lintas after it pitched against Publicis, EURO RSCG Wnek Gosper and D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles last week. It presented the results of the pitch to the member banks on Monday and made its decision known to agencies on that day.

Publicis held both the Mastercard and Access accounts. It launched Mastercard’s first TV branding campaign featuring the “Every language speaks Mastercard” strapline at the end of 1994.

The campaign had funding problems when it became apparent that member banks were in negotiations to sell the Access brand to Mastercard. “The banks did not see why they should pay for a Mastercard ad campaign as well as one for Access.”

Mastercard’s pre- and post- Christmas advertising campaigns were suspended (MW October 20 1995 and MW February 2) while negotiations took place. The Access ad campaigns were axed at the start of 1996.

Publicis produced a fresh advertising campaign for Mastercard in the run-up to Euro 96 featuring a young couple shopping in a “virtual village”. It is likely that Publicis will continue with the “Every language speaks Mastercard” theme.

Mastercard International executive vice-president of global marketing Joe Tripodi told Marketing Week earlier this year that Mastercard needed to build brand awareness. “We are a global organisation and need a stronger awareness in the UK,” he said. He added that Mastercard’s brand proposition will change to focus on preventing credit card fraud.

Mastercard will hold a media review involving incumbent Optimedia, the media independent owned by Publicis.

Mastercard chief quits, page 7

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