Huntington names Arnold lead agency, ousts Engauge

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Huntington Bancshares has named Arnold Worldwide lead marketing agency for its flagship brand and its Huntington National chain of retail banks. Terms of the deal, which closed the first week of March, were not disclosed.

Incumbent Engauge was ousted when Arnold won the account without a review, said David Clifton, CMO and chief consumer officer at NHB. Huntington CEO Stephen Steinour worked with the agency while he was CEO of Citizens Financial Group, Clifton added.

“It's like recruiting staff – when there's positive performance in the past, you know what they're willing to do to help you win,” he said.

Arnold will manage the financial company's traditional advertising and oversee direct and social media efforts, which are both in nascent stages, according to Clifton.

“In the past, we have not been very direct- or digital-driven,” he said. “I have a lot of that in my blood, though, and will be bringing more of it. We want to get more scientific in our marketing, which will involve digital, search and online components.”

Huntington is forecasting an ad budget of $40 million for this year, including traditional, digital, media and sponsorships.

Clifton added that predictive modeling, as well as value- and response-based modeling, will be part of the company's strategy.

Work for Columbus, OH-based Huntington, which has branches throughout the upper Midwest, will debut in June, said Fran Kelly, vice chairman of Arnold.

MPG, Arnold's sister agency under the Havas umbrella, handles media buying for Huntington.

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