Scotiabank begins creative agency review

Scotiabank has just begun an agency review for its creative business, and expects to name an agency of record by fall.

The bank said it invited 31 agencies to take part, including incumbent and long-time lead creative agency Bensimon Byrne.

The review is “in keeping with the bank’s global procurement policy,” said Scotiabank’s chief marketing officer Clinton Braganza.

“We acknowledge that we are living in challenging times, but we recognize that we need to continue to move our business forward,” he said. “Our current creative agency partners have played an important role in our success, and we are proud of what we have been able to achieve together.”

While the invite list is long, the fact that Scotiabank is one of the country’s largest pieces of business means that the account would require an agency of significant capacity. Conflicts would also prevent a significant number of agencies from taking part, or at least complicate the decision for agency presidents considering it.

According to its 2019 annual report, the bank spent $625 million on advertising and business development and $459 million on communications last year. But those totals would include many expenses beyond advertising and media spend.

The bank’s media spend was also likely altered significantly since purchasing the naming rights for Scotiabank Arena in Toronto in late 2017, reportedly for $40 million a year. But as some indication of account size, one media agency source said the bank spent about $14.7 million on TV media, $3.2 million on radio and $4.8 million on outdoor advertising last year.

Bensimon Byrne’s relationship with the bank dates back to late 2000, and includes the creation of the long-standing “You’re richer than you think” platform, which launched in 2004.

More recently, the agency led the rebranding of Toronto’s Air Canada Centre to Scotiabank Arena, and a 2019 refresh of its visual identity.

“As you’d expect from Scotiabank, the process is being run with exceptional professionalism,” said Bensimon Byrne president Jack Bensimon. “With our deep category experience, and long track record of success differentiating the Scotiabank brand, we are very optimistic about our chances of continuing this amazing relationship.”

While Bensimon Byrne is the Scotiabank’s lead creative agency, the bank has worked with other creative shops on some projects, including The Mark for the ambitious Hockey 24 film, for example.





David Brown