Goodby, Silverstein Loses Commonwealth Bank, Australia

Account shifts to M&C Saatchi

Commonwealth Bank, Australia, has split with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and moved its business to M&C Saatchi, Sydney.

The shift came after a nearly three-month global agency review, which came down to Omnicom agencies GS&P and DDB and independent M&C Saatchi. By some accounts, the company, one of Australia’s "big four” banks, spends around $100 million on marketing communications.

Australian company Ikon Communications will continue as the bank’s media agency. Consultants Trinity P3 worked with Commonwealth in conducting the review. The search process was comprised of two stages. The first involved agencies’ credentials and capability presentations, and the second was based on a response to a brief based on a large research project, the bank said.

Commonwealth said it might still add one or more agencies that participated in the review for other assignments, including direct marketing and product work.

GS&P worked with Commonwealth for nearly five years, producing ads like the 2010 campaign using actual employees like personal relationship manager Janet Hoon

Loss of the business at GS&P follows the departure of Sprint in December and the agency’s resignation of its remaining Hewlett-Packard business in November. Earlier this month, the agency laid off at least 170 of its 700 staffers.

Sources said the review was triggered in part by pressure on the bank to work with a local agency. M&C Saatchi, founded by Maurice and Charles Saatchi, is a publicly traded agency based in London but has worked in the past for prominent Australian brands like Qantas airlines and has offices in Sydney and Melbourne.