WPP's Essence wins Deutsche Bank's consolidated global media account

Deutsche Bank: award media account to Essence (Getty Images/Armando Babani)
Deutsche Bank: award media account to Essence (Getty Images/Armando Babani)

Business currently split between Spark Foundry, Starcom and Performance Media across brands including flagship brand, DWS and Postbank.

Deutsche Bank has appointed Essence as its global media agency, marking the first time a single agency has handled buying across the lion's share of its brand portfolio.

Essence, which takes on the consolidated account on 1 January 2022, will manage media buying across all media and platforms, both online and offline, around the world.

The account was previously split between Spark Foundry and Starcom, the Publicis Groupe-owned agencies it has worked with since 2015, and Performance Media, which has worked on the online media business since 2018.

Deutsche Bank put out a tender, together with asset management company DWS – which was previously owned by the bank before floating on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange – in the second quarter of 2021.

The pitch was managed by an interbank committee and the group's procurement department, a process that also involved Germany-based pitch consultant IMedia AG.

The bank, whose wealth management arm sponsored the recent Frieze art fair in London, said it was looking for an agency that used "innovative, data-driven marketing strategies, with a forward-looking approach to operate pro-actively in a dynamic and competitive environment".

It was particularly impressed by the strategies, planning quality and creativity presented by Group M-owned Essence during the multi-stage selection process, the bank said.

Tim Alexander, Deutsche Bank's chief marketing officer and chief experience officer, private bank, described Essence as the "ideal partner".

He continued: "Essence thinks through campaigns based on data from the customer's point of view – and scales and distributes them together with their global network Group M.

"This will also be particularly helpful to us in further anchoring our two-brand strategy with Deutsche Bank and Postbank in the market in Germany."

Christian Rummel, Deutsche Bank's deputy head of brand communications and corporate social responsibility, commended Essence's "holistic approach", "excellent understanding of the market" and "many innovative ideas about" the flagship brand; while DWS global head of marketing Adib Sisani said Essence had a "strong affinity with innovation, data and technology".

Christian Leipacher, Essence Germany's managing director, added: "We're looking forward to partnering with Deutsche Bank, the leading bank in Germany, and its network, and to finding future-proof answers to an ever more rapidly changing media landscape together."

Deutsche Bank spent €174m (£147m) on marketing expenses in 2020, down from €251m in 2019, as it cut spend during the pandemic. Media spend is likely to be only a small proportion of total marketing outlay, one observer suggested.

It is understood Publicis Media does not handle Deustche Bank in the UK, where the bank's annual media spend is modest  an estimated £366,000 in 2019 and £126,000 in 2020, according to Nielsen.


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