FCB wins BMO business

The shop takes over the bank's branding work from Y&R, while KBS' purview within the bank's "agency of collaboration" model expands.
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Updated 4:00 p.m. on July 28, 2015

FCB Toronto, in partnership with its offices in Montreal and Chicago, has been added to Bank of Montreal’s agency roster, while KBS’s role within it has been expanded.

Following a decision made last week after a competitive review and pitch process, FCB will be BMO’s lead agency on all branding work across North America, working within the bank’s “agency of collaboration” model alongside its other agencies.

In late 2013, Y&R and KBS won the BMO account after its then-AOR Cossette resigned the business. Y&R was assigned the brand and retail work, with KBS handling wealth management.

This spring, BMO began an agency review for its branding work and, shortly after it began, expanded KBS’s mandate to include personal and commercial banking in Canada. That work had previously been covered by the “retail” portion of Y&R’s assignment.

“The reason we did that is we recognized the line between our investing consumer and banking consumer, for us, is really not that distinct,” says Connie Stefankiewicz, CMO for BMO Financial Group. “We are one bank from a banking and wealth perspective, so we wanted to have a more integrated approach for our personal and commercial banking customers and our wealth customers.”

Stefankiewicz, who was previously head of North American channel strategy and solutions, took over the CMO role last month. She replaced Joanna Rotenberg, who moved into a new role with BMO as president of personal wealth management.

In addition to FCB and KBS, BMO has also begun to work with Mosaic on experiential activations and branded content, and will engage other agencies on special assignments as they arise.

Last year, BMO and Y&R embarked on a brand refresh that brought in a more personal, human touch to the bank’s advertising. While that work will be continued by FCB, Stefankiewicz says the goal for the bank going forward will be bringing that refresh to life in everything it does, facilitated by the collaboration of the agencies handling each of those parts.

“We want to live the brand, be it internally through our employees and services we provide, or in all of our external touchpoints with consumers,” she says.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Y&R’s Canadian operations would be folded into Taxi, a move that was attributed to the loss of several of its major clients. Peter Stringham, global chairman of Young & Rubicam Group, told strategy at the time that BMO’s branding work was already under review when that decision was made.

With files from Harmeet Singh.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock