Visa taps on 2 new global creative agencies, hands APAC marketer Frederique Covington global role

Visa has appointed Wieden+Kennedy and Publicis Groupe to manage global creative duties following a pitch held earlier this year. Lynne Biggar, Visa's chief marketing and communications officer, said on LinkedIn that Wieden+Kennedy will lead creative strategy and major initiatives, while Publicis Groupe and its holding company capabilities will add product and support for hyper local work to its remit while remaining responsible for global media. Starcom has been handling global media duties for Visa since 2015.

BBDO and Saatchi & Saatchi were the incumbents on the account, with the former leading creative globally since taking over from TBWA\ in 2012. BBDO's work in Asia Pacific includes Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Saatchi & Saatchi was handling creative for Visa Europe, which was acquired by Visa Inc in 2015.

"Our brand and business ambitions warrant having Wieden+Kennedy and Publicis Groupe partner together to expand our brand platform by combining both best-in-class creative and global execution expertise," Biggar said. She also thanked BBDO for the long-standing partnership over the past years, adding that it appreciates the contributions BBDO has made contributions to the brand and business across its global footprint.

In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Visa's spokesperson said it is regular practice for Visa to consistently evaluate how it does business, inclusive of its external partners. "Conducting a review for a global creative agency of record has been a truly insightful process as we explore diversity in agencies and thinking to lead us to the best partner for the next phase of our brand building. We want to thank all of the agencies that participated. It was not an easy decision or one we made lightly - the creativity was beyond impressive," the spokesperson added. The spokesperson did not comment on the length of appointment and which agency will be taking the lead for Southeast Asia.

Separately, the spokesperson also confirmed that Frederique Covington Corbett, Visa's SVP, head of marketing and cross border, Asia Pacific, has been promoted to SVP of global brand strategy and planning. It is understood that she will be relocating to California next year. Corbett has with the brand for more than four years and prior to that, she was with Twitter as international marketing director, Asia, Middle East, Russia and LATAM, global business marketing, according to her LinkedIn. She also worked at Microsoft as its APAC CEO from 2011 to 2014. Corbett also has experience in the agency space, having worked at Ogilvy, Bates 141 and Y&R.

In June, Visa pledged support for 10 million small businesses across Asia Pacific to get local communities back on their feet amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The company introduced a range of programmes and solutions to help SMEs drive efficiency and sales by accepting and making payments digitally to meet increased demand for cashless payments. It also formed the Visa Economic Empowerment Institute focused on economic and societal issues, including pandemic challenges SMEs face and closing racial and gender opportunity gaps.

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