UOB pitches creative in Singapore

Leo Burnett ad for UOB from 2010

Leo Burnett ad for UOB from 2010

United Overseas Bank, one of the largest financial services groups in Southeast Asia, is pitching its advertising business in Singapore, Mumbrella can reveal.

The incumbent agency is Leo Burnett, which won the business in 2010.

The news ends months of speculation that UOB has been looking for a new agency.

The agencies in contention are unconfirmed, and those rumoured to be on the list have either denied involvement or have not responded to Mumbrella’s questions about the review.

Among those names rumoured to be on the list include Saatchi & Saatchi – which handled the account before Leo Burnett – DDB, Publicis and BBH, as well as the incumbent.

UOB’s executive director, head of group retail marketing is Wendy Ong, who spent 13 years at DDB as chief strategy officer until a year ago when she joined the bank, is understood to be running the pitch.

DDB, which handles the ad account of UOB competitor DBS, has stated that it is not involved in the pitch. So too has Publicis, which Mumbrella has been informed is teaming up with sibling agency BBH in a group effort to win the business.

Leo Burnett has denied knowledge of the review.

The client declined to comment.

The news emerges on the same day that UOB has reported strong numbers for the first half of the year. Net earnings were by up by 6.1 per cent, to S$1.60 billion.

Wee Ee Cheong, UOB Group’s deputy chairman and CEO, said, “We are pleased with the group’s healthy results, with our second quarter building on the strong performance achieved in the first quarter.”

The results, he said, show the company’s “continued focus on generating steady growth backed by disciplined risk management and a strong balance sheet.”

He added: “Despite the moderating growth in Asia in the near term, we believe in the region’s long-term potential. We continue to invest in our regional capabilities for our customers as they seize opportunities in the region.”

One of the earlier ads for UOB Bank created by Leo Burnett was for the Lady’s Card in 2010.


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