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News Plus 18 May 2022 - 2 min read

$25m Bank of Queensland media account in play, OMD, Publicis and Mediabrands vying for consolidated account

By Brendan Coyne - Editor

ME Bank's Bank-Xiety campaign, created in-house in 2019.

Following the $1.3bn ME Bank acquisition last year, Bank of Queensland is consolidating its media across BoQ, ME and Virgin Money as it positions to become a "compelling alternative" to the big banks and doubles its retail network. Although BoQ is pursuing a multibrand strategy, it is consolidating media, held by OMD, Initiative and Performics respectively. BoQ's Group Executive Retail Banking and ME Bank CEO, Martine Jager, was previously Westpac's Chief Digital and Marketing Officer who oversaw Westpac drop WPP's GroupM without a market review to Publicis 18 months ago.

What you need to know:

  • Bank of Queensland Group is reviewing media and digital arrangements across the group's three brands.
  • Aiming to consolidate.
  • OMD, Performics, Initiative currently handle different aspects.


Bank of Queensland is pitching media with three holdco-owned agencies in play.

The pitch follows BoQ’s acquisition of ME Bank last year and involves OMD, which handles Bank of Queensland and Virgin; Performics Mercerbell, which handles digital for ME Bank; and Initiative, which has managed media planning and buying for ME Bank for the last eight years.

The consolidated account is thought to be worth $25-30 million in billings across the three businesses including digital.

The banking sector is under sustained pressure from disruptors and global tech platforms alike, placing significant additional pressure on media and marketing dollars.

Bank of Queensland is driving efficiencies through econometric modelling in a bid to tie media spend to hard financial metrics – and defend marketing budgets.

Bank of Queensland Group GM for Retail Marketing Melody Townsend in February told Mi3 that the group is adjusting its approach as a result, with ME Bank in particular shifting away from cost per acquisition to a greater focus on lifetime customer value.

“There was a focus on acquisition volumes and cost. But that is actually not the right metric, because trying to drive the lowest cost per acquisition does not result in the best customer quality,” said Townsend.

“Instead, lets focus on the ROI we’re trying to generate and optimise towards that. It may mean that we’re spending more to acquire a customer – but the quality and longevity of that customer is going to mean more to the business.”

Asked if the strategic shift is working, she said home loan customers are “a multiyear [proposition], so we’ll need more time to prove that out. But the early indications across our everyday transaction and online savings accounts suggest that is certainly holding true.”

Bank of Queensland Group did not respond to a late request for comment.

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