Rahul Sachitanand
Aug 18, 2022

Publicis Groupe bags Standard Chartered's global creative business

The win follows a competitive three-way tussle and wrests business from incumbent TBWA.

Publicis Groupe bags Standard Chartered's global creative business

Standard Chartered has selected Publicis to be its global creative agency of record. Publicis has won a three-way battle for the business and unseated incumbent TBWA, which held the business for 18 years.

Publicis Groupe will run all creative, digital, and production for Standard Chartered, as part of this remit. The account will be lead out of Singapore, which led the global pitch. Leo Burnett will be the lead creative shop on this, Campaign understands.

“Following a rigorous pitch process to appoint a global creative agency, we have made the decision to award the mandate to Publicis Groupe,” Standard Chartered said in statement to Campaign.

"We are confident that they will be the right partner to take our narrative to the next level, by pushing our creative and digital boundaries," said Claire Dixon, group head of corporate affairs, brand and marketing. 

The review was led by R3.

The other agencies who made it to a final short list were BLKJ Havas and TBWA. "We are thankful to TBWA for their support during the past 18 years to bring Standard Chartered’s brand to where it is today," Standard Chartered's Dixon added. 

"We are extremely proud of our long-standing relationship with Standard Chartered and TBWA’s role in creating, developing and executing ‘Here for Good,’ the bank’s aspirational brand promise, which has been central to Standard Chartered’s business and brand transformation for over a decade," TBWA stated. "We would also like to thank our teams who have remained committed to delivering progressive thinking and distinctive brand storytelling across all markets, resulting in immense category breaking work throughout our tenure."

The agency noted it did work recently on communicating Standard Chartered’s role in driving global trade, worked on the bank’s commitment toward tackling carbon emissions and on its push to increase female leadership in senior positions. "As a Collective, we thank Standard Chartered for their enduring trust and partnership, which was always anchored in ‘Here for Good,’ and wish them future success with their new partners," TBWA added. 

Rowena Bhagchandani of BLKJ Havas offered no comment.  

The mandate is open-ended, we are told. There are a few other local agencies in specific markets who will also be roped in to service this contract. Financial terms weren't immediately made available. 

In February 2022, Standard Chartered had called a creative review and ultimately opted for an agency refresh after nearly two decades. The financial services company had narrowed down its choices to these three shops in May this year. 

“It’s refreshing to be given the opportunity to work with a brand with such a purposeful belief, which was so clearly reflected in all the people that we met through this process," said Amrita Randhawa, CEO for Publicis Groupe Singapore, and Southeast Asia. "It’s a privilege to be shaping a global brand of this stature and ambition out of Singapore ... we look forward to bringing the best of Publicis Groupe to bear on the business.”

This win adds to a strong year for Publicis Groupe in new business in Asia. The network won the Singapore Tourism Board business in January 2022, and bagged Singtel creative duties in Singapore, L’Oréal for performance marketing in several Southeast Asian markets and PepsiCo for media across China, Southeast Asia and India.

The change from Standard Chartered comes on the back of several marketing changes in-house at the organisation. In early August this year, it appointed Suresh Balaji and Sunshine Farzan to key senior marketing roles.

Balaji was appointed global head of CABM, consumer, private and business banking for SCB. CABM is SCB's corporate affairs, brand, and marketing team. He replaced Emma Sheller, who quit to relocate to the UK.

Sheller also lead global brand for Standard Chartered, a role since taken over by Sarah Hagan, the head of corporate affairs. Hagan moved to the firm from Teneo, where she was managing director for the UK. 

Farzan, meanwhile, started in July as global head, CABM, corporate, commercial and institutional banking (CCIB). She also has a geographic remit as head, CABM, for Europe and the Americas.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from its original version to include greater clarity and detail on recent Publicis Groupe wins.

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